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Make industry, academia collaboration reality - Industrialist to stakeholders

BY: Daniel Kenu
Anthony Adu Nketia, Chief Executive Officer of Thonket Group of Companies, addressing the 13th Congregation of the Ghana Baptist University College
Anthony Adu Nketia, Chief Executive Officer of Thonket Group of Companies, addressing the 13th Congregation of the Ghana Baptist University College

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Thonket Group of Companies, Anthony Adu Nketia, has proposed a stronger collaboration between industry and academia to produce “appropriate graduates” to meet the demands of the job market.

He said currently, many unqualified graduates were not “fit for purpose”, adding that it was time the narrative was changed.

“Currently, businesses will have to retrain graduates with appropriate technology, which is becoming a drain on our coffers and increasing our overhead cost,” Mr Nketia said at the 13th Congregation of the Ghana Baptist University College (GBUC) at Abuakwa in the Atwima Nwabiagye District of the Ashanti Region.

A total of 479 students graduated from the university, including 256 from the Business School, 119 from the School of Theology and Ministry and 61 from the School of Arts and Social Sciences Education.

The graduation ceremony was on the theme: “Is the current educational system adequate for the needs of the industry”?

Knowledge sharing

He said there were a lot of research materials at the various universities that were only collecting dust and added that it was time for knowledge sharing between academia and industry.

The business Mogul said the industry was ready to sponsor tailor-made research in specific areas to promote productivity and food safety in Ghana.

“The business industry should be developed as a system to build the capacities of students even before they graduate with regular attachments so that by the time they graduate, they will be ready for the job market,” he said.

He urged graduates to work harder and utilise their ability and the knowledge acquired at school in the development of the nation.

Appeal

The Chancellor of the GBUC, Rev. Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, appealed to the government to give more attention to the private universities just as it did to the public universities in terms of support.

The dealer and distributor of groceries said to make university education more relevant to the industry, there was the need to reshape most of the lecturers through scholarships to pursue PhDs to build their human capacities.

Innovation

The President of GBUC, Prof. Joseph Oteng-Adjei, hinted at the introduction of innovative academic programmes to meet the current industry needs.

He said the university was facing acute budgetary deficits and cash flow due to low enrolment.

The president of the university called on the government and other stakeholders to help ensure that private universities remained relevant.

Plans

He said plans were afoot to establish a School of Technology and Agriculture to run programmes in Computer Sciences, ICT, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Waste Management and Agriculture.

Prof. Oteng-Adjei said management was to collaborate with churches and other interest groups to invest in hostel facilities to accommodate students.

Already, the university has a collaboration with the International Baptist Universities and the Georgia Allied Health Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, to gain accreditation to run as a centre for National Council for Licensure Examinations for nursing students.