Mr Mahama Ayariga, Deputy Minster of Education, has reiterated government’s commitment to assisting science and technical institutions to enable them produce quality researchers and technicians for national growth.
He said this would also enable the institutions to have a fair share of the national cake as well as contribute to national development, adding that “Ghana has been noted to be an educational harbour.”
Mr Ayariga was speaking at the closing of a two-day national stakeholder’s consultative conference on “sustainable financing of Education in Ghana”, on Thursday in Accra.
The conference, which was attended by officials and students of private and state tertiary institutions, aimed at addressing grievances of students regarding accommodation and to ascertain measures to improve the country’s educational system, and to solicit the opinion of stakeholders on the funding of tertiary education in the country.
Mr Ayariga noted that students were the best human resource for industrial research, and called on industries to collaborate with research institutions to produce good human resource for the country.
He expressed concern about the attitude of some graduates, who claim to be unemployed and were waiting for white colour job instead of utilizing their talents to earn a living.
Mr Ayariga observed that inadequate facilities at tertiary institutions had compelled them to concentrate their teaching on theory instead of practical work.
He applauded tertiary institutions that had trained technicians and researchers in the oil industry, and charged them to continue to build the capacity of graduands to serve the industry.
Professor Jerry Kumah, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Mines and Technology, asked government to set up a special research fund for science and technology intuitions to enable them to train more students for national development.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor said that the lack of funds had compelled most intelligent students to pursue course that were of no benefit to the state, adding that only well-financed students could pursue science courses.
Prof. Kumah noted that modern development depended partly on research.
Mrs.Eunice Ackwerh, a Senior Educationist at the World Bank, urged government to collaborate with students as well as stakeholders in decision-making adding that the youth had fresh ideas that could help in addressing their grievances.
Mrs Ackwerh asked students to study hard to enable them to acquire skills and knowledge required for national development.
Mrs Evelyn Oduro, Coordinator in-Service Training, Ghana Education Service, asked educational institutions to be transparent and accountable in managing schools, to enable students to know what goes on at the schools.
She also appealed to government to make oil industries pay extra levy to support education in the country, saying that funding from the government was inadequate for managing the welfare of students.
Mr Hamza Suhuyini, President, National Union of Ghana Students, asked stakeholders to develop long-term policy to help school leavers to acquire business and employable skills.
Mr Suhuyini called on parents to pay attention to the education of their children and called for an increase in the students’ loans to enable them to meet their educational needs.
He advised Students Representative Councils to channel portion of dues collected into endowment funds to help address challenges confronting students on campus.
Mr Suhuyini called on stakeholders to support the funding of the agricultural sector since it is the backbone of the country’s economy.