Minister slams Ghana’s over reliance on primary products

Prof Nana Jane Opoku - Education Minister
Prof Nana Jane Opoku – Education Minister

Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, Minister of Education, on Saturday observed that the over reliance 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 knowledge base.

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.

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

Prof Dornwine Kuupole, Vice Chancellor, said one of the core business of the university is research, which has necessitated in the creation of research agenda and fund to facilitate quality research.

He expressed concern about the absence of clear cut policy to guide research and hinted that the UCC had constituted a committee to develop guidelines to raise the necessary 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 hard work, be their watch word.

Dr Jonah noted that the phenomenon of unemployed graduate is 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 a cash award for his excellent academic performance.

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

Source: GNA

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