The Vice-Chancellor of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, has said the university will maintain high standards in the face of the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to academic sustainability.
He said even though 2020 had been a challenging year due to the pandemic, “TTU’s resolve to accept the and devise means of continuing with academic work has been beneficial”.
Rev. Prof. Eshun was speaking at the 5th congregation of the TTU in the Western Region, during which 3,155 graduates were awarded degrees in Master of Technology, Bachelor of Technology, Higher National Diploma and Non-tertiary Diploma programmes.
The V-C attributed the university’s success to its hardworking lecturers, who he said tirelessly worked hand-in-hand with the students to end the academic year on a good note.
Rev. Prof. Eshun said in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university came out with a blended learning (BL) model programme which involved a combination of online and face-to-face approaches in teaching and learning.
The BL model places emphasis on teacher-learner and learner-learner interaction, mediated by a variety of media, such as print, audio conferencing, interactive video and computer learning management systems.
Oil and gas
Rev. Prof. Eshun said as part of measures to expand its facilities and increase intake to meet the growing demand for appropriate skills for national development, the TTU had signed a GH¢3.5 million agreement with the Petroleum Commission to train students in the upstream oil and gas sector to boost local participation in the industry.
The move, he said, was part of the government’s accelerated oil and gas capacity training programme (AOGC), a strategic agenda to involve locals in critical roles in the production and management of oil and gas resources in the country.
In that regard, Rev. Prof. Eshun said, two of the university’s members of staff who were sponsored by the Petroleum Commission to Canada to be trained in stainless steel welding had begun imparting their knowledge to students in the sector.
“Another important academic issue during the period under review was the decision by the Petroleum Commission to establish an ultra-modern pipefitting centre at the TTU for the AOGC programme,” the V-C added.
He said when the project was completed, the TTU would become a centre of excellence in plumbing, welding and fabrication training.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, commended the university and its management for ensuring academic excellence in the midst of the COVID-19.
He said the TTU had accomplished a lot in its quest to deliver purposeful quality education, adding: “I must say that you have done tremendously well in your dedication to mould students, especially in the challenging times of the COVID-19.”
The emergence of the pandemic, the regional minister said, had distorted planned activities, adding: “It saddens me to say that the region and the nation are still recording new cases.”
Mr Darko-Mensah urged the people to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols, particularly the wearing of face masks, which is mandatory, to contain the spread of the virus.
He further advised the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the university.