The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged tertiary institutions, particularly faith-based ones, to lead the crusade to instil the core values of service to humanity with sincerity and integrity in their students.
He said by doing so, the students they produced would become responsible citizens with integrity who would influence society positively.
The Vice-President gave the challenge when he addressed the 10th Congregation of the Pentecost University College (PUC) in Accra last Saturday.
He observed that one important factor necessary for building good societies but which continued to elude the country was a weak value system, which was cardinal.
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To that end, he called on tertiary institutions to help build a good society by inculcating positive values in their students for the students to carry those values into the world of work.
“As the saying goes, Faith moves mountains. However, our core value systems of fairness, honesty, integrity and hard work are in short supply and any nation in which these core values are lacking will find it difficult to progress,” he pointed out.
Ms Emmanuella Mary Obeng was the best female graduating student, while Rev. Jacob Asare emerged the overall best student.
The Vice-President made reference to the anthem of the Pentecost University College and said the quest to serve humanity with sincerity and integrity was a major statement about the values of the university.
He added that those core values were the pivot around which the government was working to be able to go beyond aid.
“All of you graduands going into the world of work, remember you are going to serve humanity with integrity and sincerity, no matter where you find yourselves. You are not going to look for material things — that is not all that life is about.
You are going to serve humanity.
“When we look around, we see greed, ostentation and competitive richness and so much on display, but we should be able to say to ourselves that this is not the way to build a Ghana beyond aid because we need to do things differently,” he advised.
With specific reference to the theme for the occasion: “Ghana beyond aid: The role of tertiary education,” the Vice-President emphasised that tertiary institutions had the fundamental mandate of educating the next generation of the country’s human resource if the vision of a Ghana beyond aid was to become a reality.
“We need to develop the dearth and quality of our human capabilities because studies on the link between human capabilities and economic growth and development are so settled that countries that have been able to advance are those that have invested in human capabilities,” Dr Bawumia added.
He, therefore, urged tertiary institutions to build the country’s knowledge base through basic and applied research, since it was one of the pillars to build the productive capabilities of citizens and a stronger economy.
Dr Bawumia also stressed the need for the nurturing of entrepreneurs, which he said, was key to economic growth, empowerment of the people and job creation.
He gave an assurance that the government would continue to support tertiary education with the requisite infrastructure, especially as the first batch of free SHS students got ready to enter tertiary institutions.
The Rector of the PUC, Apostle Dr Daniel Okyere Walker, commended the government for its Ghana Beyond Aid vision and called on all Ghanaians to support the vision to make it work.
Although it was a challenging task, he said, the Ghana beyond aid agenda was a positive step towards creating prosperity and equal opportunities for all and urged tertiary institutions, both private and public, to play a central role in the realisation of the agenda.
Apostle Dr Walker urged the government to create an enabling environment and support private tertiary institutions to properly position themselves to absorb the free SHS graduates and operate at an optimum level, without unnecessary restrictions, which would frustrate their existence.
The rector mentioned some of the challenges the school had to grapple with, such as low students’ intake due to fierce competition with public universities, high academic audit fees and high utility bills.
The Chancellor of the PUC, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, outlined the five-year vision of the Church of Pentecost, which included supporting the government in the construction of prisons to decongest the existing prisons and construction of police stations and Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in strategic places.
He said the church would also support the government in the construction of more public schools at the basic level to increase enrolment.
The PUC, which was established by the Church of Pentecost as a mission university, evolved from the Pentecost Bible College, which trained only lay leaders and full-time ministers of the church, into a university college.
It was accredited by the National Accreditation Board in November 2004.
With the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) as its mentoring institutions, the PUC presently offers programmes in the Sciences, Engineering, Arts, Finance and Theology.