Mildred Siabi-Mensah/Bright Ofori Asiamah, GNA
Takoradi, Sept. 13, GNA - Reverend Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng, the President of the Presbyterian University College, has called on technical universities to leverage on their mandate and produce the needed technical skills for sustainable development.
"As technical universities, your mandate is clearly spelt out in the Technical Universities Act to provide higher education in Engineering, Science and Technology based disciplines, Technical and Vocational Education Training, Applied Arts and related disciplines...the word Technical is now your defining word.”
Teaching and learning should be more practical in approach to assist students acquire practical skills and expertise needed to apply to theories to the building and construction of actual devices for humans...thus focus will be 30 per cent theory and about 70 per cent practice."
Prof. Obeng, who retired from the Cape Coast University, was speaking at the Second Convocation Lecture, organised by the Takoradi Technical University.
The lecture was on theme: "Ghana's Future and Economic Growth: The Role of Technical Universities".
He said technical and vocational education and training must, therefore, unlock the potential of the nation and its citizens to expand their horizons to adapt to the dynamics of the world of work.
He said various interventions by successive governments had now strategically positioned technical universities to produce the needed skills and human resources in adequate numbers for sustainable development.
"As a Technical University, you should team up with industries, businesses and farmers to develop technologies that would address Ghana's development challenges," he added.
He mentioned that Ghana was blessed with lots of natural resources and that it was through prudent and efficient measures, behavioral change, and right application of technology that the country could achieve the “Ghana beyond Aid Agenda.”
"This is where the Technical Universities should develop themselves to become thought leaders in TVET issues, establish research centers, create niches and lead the way to turning Ghana's potential in value addition on natural resources and growing youth labour force into realized competitive advantage in the global market place...”
“You must also create think tanks among faculties who will also act as consultants to the Government and private businesses to access in the area of science and technology," Rev. Prof. Adow Obeng said.
"One thing which has set the clock of Ghana's development backwards had been the issue of corruption, millions of Ghana cedis and dollars of state funds have found their way into private pockets...For Ghana to become a country that does not depend on Aid for her development, bold steps must be taken as a country to reduce corruption", he said.
Mr Moses MacLean Abnory, the New Registrar of the Takoradi Technical University, said the Public Lectures formed part of academic traditions across the world to make public some of the contribution of the universities to society.
"Such lectures help to share our expertise as well as that of others to enrich national discourse and the curriculum of students in a range of academic disciplines.”
Mr Abnory added that such opportunities were also to offer alternative policies to ensure the socio-economic development of the country.
Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, the Vice Chancellor of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), said society looked to universities to play a strong role in preserving and transmitting what was valuable for present and the future generations and a university that failed to lead in those ways was irrelevant.
"As a Technical University, TTU aims to use these public lectures to engage stakeholders on relevant issues pertaining to our national development efforts."
According to the World Bank Report, recent developments in Ghana's economy was driven by the mining and oil sectors, making it the second-fastest growing African economy.
"This lecture, therefore, comes at an opportune moment both for the university and the country to keenly initiate, steer and participate in these discussions and reshape the economic history of this country by intervening where we can in order to effect changes within the society."