Education Minister decries overreliance on oil industry

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-AgyemangThe Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, on Saturday observed that the overreliance on the oil industry and other primary products cannot eradicate poverty and disease in the country.

According to her, knowledge which is both a tool and commodity, is now the key driver of economic growth and therefore charged the universities, which are centres of brainpower to drive the process of transforming the economy to a knowledge-based one.

Prof Opoku-Agyeman who made the observation in a speech read on her behalf at the 46th congregation of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), recommended research and innovation   as the means through which the task can be accomplished.

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She said the review of the current policy of imposing book and research allowances on individuals was meant to introduce efficiency and effectiveness in the disbursement and utilisation of the fund.

Prof Dornwine Kuupole, Vice Chancellor of UCC, said one of the core businesses of the University was research, which had necessitated the creation of a research agenda and fund to facilitate quality research.

He expressed concern about the absence of a clear-cut policy to guide research and hinted that the UCC had constituted a committee to develop guidelines to raise funds to support the process.

Prof Kuupole expressed gratitude to the Chancellor of UCC, Dr Sir Sam Jonah, for offering to contribute 50,000 dollars annually into the newly established research fund of the University and also instituting the Chancellor’s award for the best graduating students of the various faculties of the Institution with GH¢1,000.00 each.

He challenged the graduating students to let conscientiousness, dedication and discipline, be their guiding principles, and that hard work should be their watch word.

Dr Jonah noted that the phenomenon of unemployed graduates was real and therefore admonished the graduates not to rest on their oars but set relevant and realistic goals in order to be useful to the society.

Joseph Issah Awinyam, who had first class honours in Basic Education was adjudged the overall best graduating student and was presented with an undisclosed cash award for his excellent academic performance.

In all, a total of 3,891 students graduated. Out of the number, 253 obtained first class, 1,521 had second class upper, and 1,337 got second class lower division, while 597 secured third class, with 183 obtaining passes.

Source: GNA