GIJ holds Fourth Congregation
With the discovery of oil and signs of a booming economy, the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), has been challenged to train journalists who will be equipped with the knowledge about what the industry is bringing on board.
“GIJ has the arduous task of facing the new challenges, which beckons and adopt new strategies of educating future journalists and public relation practitioners to become conversant with demands of the oil industry and its communicative imperatives,” says Major M.S Tara (Rtd), Chief Director at the Ministry of Education.
He was speaking at the Fourth Congregation of the GIJ in Accra on Saturday on the theme: “the Role of Communication in Ghana’s Emerging Oil Industry.”
Major Tara said with GIJ’s new status as a university, the ministry is ready to help in reviewing the Legislative Instrument (Act717) establishing it in consonance with the best practices.
This he said would streamline the activities of the academic institution to ensure that it competes favourably with other public universities.
He said the ministry had prioritised three thematic areas- human development, provision of facilities and requisite logistical support and the upgrading of infrastructure to enable GIJ develop its full potential.
Major Tara urged the institute to go beyond official government support and identify other sources of funding and also review it curriculum to reflect the changing trends in educational pursuit in the country and the world as a whole.
He expressed the hope that the changes would provide GIJ with innovative and creative programmes to enhance the quality and marketability of its products on the job market.
The institute has a greater responsibility of raising the standard of journalism and public relations in the country, he said and noted that the onerous task is only attainable through enhanced research capacity.
“An improved research base could impact on the quality of training of students as well as contemporary in-service training for practicing journalists and public relation practitioners.”
Major Tara advised the graduates to avoid the temptation of using short-cut means to riches and fame and rather imbibe the virtues of humility and professionalism.
Mr David Newton, Rector of GIJ announced that the school’s affiliation arrangement with the University of Ghana ends in 2011 thus compelling the Governing Council to institute measures to facilitate the transformation process.
Mr Newton said as part of the expansion programme the academic board had recommended the establishment of a social science faculty as a third faculty, adding that new courses such as Information Communication Technology and Business and Management Studies would also be brought on board under a review exercise been undertaken.
He said with oil find, other short courses on Petroleum Reporting and Environment and Climate Change would also be introduced.
The Rector said in line with the institute’s objective to give the necessary exposure to students and lecturers through exchange programmes with both local and international institutions, it has established links with UNESCO, The Open Society Initiative of Africa, Kwantlen University in Canada and Rhodes University in South Africa and other international organisations.
He advised the graduates not to allow anyone to deter them from reaching their highest ambition.
Mr Richard Quashigah, GIJ Council Member said the institute has the potential and capacity to turn around its fortunes.
He said the challenge is for school to review and expand it curriculum and to come out with innovative programmes and courses, which are relevant and marketable in order to generate the needed revenue for infrastructure development.
The GIJ was established by Dr Kwame Nkrumah to train a patriotic cadre of journalists to play an effective role in the emancipation of the African Continent.