Prof. Tagoe condemns polarisation of Ghanaian society

Prof. Tagoe - Vice-Chancellor-University of Ghana

Professor Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana, Legon, on Monday condemned the political polarisation of the society stressing that it would militate against the country’s fledging democratic governance.

“Any cursory observer of the political scene in Ghana today, would attest to the growing polarisation of the society into two antagonistic entities with each camp refusing to see anything good in the other,” he said.

Prof. Tagoe was speaking at the opening of the 61st Annual New Year School in Accra.

The School, scheduled from January 3-9, 2010, is under the theme; “Sustaining Democratic Governance in Ghana: Issues before the Nation”.

It has over the past 60 years provided persons of diverse vocations and varied backgrounds the opportunity to dispassionately discuss vital issues of national and international concern.

Prof. Tagoe said the theme chosen for the school would provide another opportunity for participants and speakers to reflect on the democratic path of governance in the country to chart a new course devoid of tension and polarisation.

“In 1991, Ghanaians decided in a constitutional referendum that the only way they would be governed is through electoral democracy,” he said, but expressed worry that the citizenry were gripped with fear and uncertainty during presidential and parliamentary elections.

Prof. Tagoe noted that the fear and uncertainty raised some questions concerning the collective comprehension of the ideals, institutions and practice of democratic governance in the country.

Prof. Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Director of the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, said democratic governance could not be sustained within the context of growing poverty, illiteracy, youth unemployment, poor environmental sanitation and the general feeling of insecurity.

He said the sustenance of the democratisation process and its utilization depended on the development of institutions and processes that were more responsive to the needs of the ordinary citizens, including the poor and vulnerable in society.

Prof. Oheneba-Sakyi said the 2010 New Year School would focus on developing a framework for sustaining democratic governance in Ghana.

He said it would also serve as a platform for participants to dispassionately discuss and offer ideas on topics including enhancing the capacity of the youth for national development.

“The Institute will offer innovative ideas for assessing the role of objective and independent media in promoting a democratic government; enhance the capacity of the youth for national development and improve the electoral process for democratic governance,” he said.

Prof. Oheneba-Sakyi said the Institute had submitted a proposal for a Master of Arts and Philosophy in HIV and AIDS Management to the School of Research and Graduate Studies for the necessary action.

“The programme is designed for workers in middle-level and senior management positions and individuals who have first degrees and may want to develop careers in HIV and AIDS Management,” he said.

Prof. Oheneba-Sakyi said in addition, the Institute had presented a proposal to the Board of the Faculty of Social Studies for consideration to replace the current title “Resident Tutor” given to teachers of the Institute with the designation “Lecturers” to conform to the current practice in the world of academics.

“This request will enhance opportunities to recruit more lecturers and researchers to fulfil the Institute’s new vision to become the centre of excellence for the efficient delivery of university-based continuing and distance education to meet the challenges of national development and global competition,” he said.

Prof. Oheneba-Sakyi appealed to stakeholders in the educational sector to donate at least five new vehicles to the Institute to enhance its operations.

He called on authorities of University of Ghana and Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) to help restore the physical facilities at the Regional Centres of the institute and build a new multi-purpose Distance Education Complex at the Legon Campus.

Source: GNA

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