Prof. Kofi Opoku Nti (6th from left), President, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Emerita Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh (5th from left), Chairperson, Project Management Committee; Emerita Prof. Isabella Akyinba Quakyi (4th from right), Vice President, GAAS; Prof. Akilagpa Sawyerr (right), former Vice-Chancellor, UG, and Prof. Nana Akua Anyidoho (2nd from right), Consultant, and other dignitaries and participants. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Prof. Kofi Opoku Nti (6th from left), President, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Emerita Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh (5th from left), Chairperson, Project Management Committee; Emerita Prof. Isabella Akyinba Quakyi (4th from right), Vice President, GAAS; Prof. Akilagpa Sawyerr (right), former Vice-Chancellor, UG, and Prof. Nana Akua Anyidoho (2nd from right), Consultant, and other dignitaries and participants. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

Align tertiary institutions’ curricula with skill acquisition for devt — Speakers

Speakers at a policy dialogue on education have called for the alignment of tertiary school curricula with skills acquisition needed for the accelerated development of the country.

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They said most of the institutions were running generic skills education and training instead of focusing on specific programmes for national growth. The speakers included the Chair of the Governing Council of the Sunyani Technical University, Dr Kwame Boakye; President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Prof. Mamudu Akundugu, and the President of the National Union of Ghana Students, Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh.

The dialogue, which was on relations between the state and public universities in the country was organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra last Tuesday, on the theme: “Motivating high education reforms in Ghana towards equity and sustainability.”

The participants, including experts in higher education, policymakers and civil society groups, shared findings and comparative experiences towards a reinvigorated, consultative and informed process for high education reforms and policymaking in the country.

Dr Boakye said operations of tertiary institutions should be geared towards building human capital for national development. He urged the institutions to provide career guidance for their students to know what they can gain from their courses of study, adding that the state must also support and partner the institutions to develop research and programmes that were in line with national development goals.

The president of UTAG also said that the state must recognise universities as stakeholders in development by engaging them in policy formulation and implementation.
He observed that the expertise of universities was not properly utilised by the state in most cases.

Institutional autonomy

For her part, a lecturer and consultant of the policy dialogue, Prof. Nana Akua Anyidoho, urged public universities to reduce their dependency on government subventions by increasing their internally generated funds.

She recalled that there was a time when universities did not depend on government subventions and yet were able to meaningfully assert their institutional autonomy. Currently, Prof. Anyidoho observed that most universities were being managed by people who were more susceptible to political pressure and, therefore, called for a decentralisation of the system.

“We need to increase the capacity of university leadership to meet the challenge of protecting the institutions against political influence and also responding to the reality that funding from the state is going to be less,” she added.

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