Professor Justice S. K. Date-Bah, a retired Supreme Court Judge on Saturday urged government to adopt a policy framework within the next five years, that prioritizes research, innovation and skills development.
This, he said, will address the problem of graduate employability.
Prof Date-Bah who was the guest of honour at the 13th Congregation of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra, pointed out that higher education is valuable to the development process, independent of any vocational or professional training it may provide.
“Nevertheless, given the needs of modern day industry, private enterprise, society and government, it is vital for a dynamic contemporary university to respond to the training needs of the economy and the society.
“Universities and higher education in general, are of central national importance in the twenty-first century, with the contemporary increased movement towards a knowledge-based economy. Knowledge creation and interpretation are, of course, the business of universities,” he stated.
Prof Date-Bah said the academic community owes an obligation to the country, continent and society in which it is located, and to humanity in general, to advance the learning and knowledge that will enhance societal well-being and development.
He said GIMPA should, therefore, be committed to working towards beneficial social outcomes for the higher education it imparts, in addition to the intrinsic merit of the academic reflection and study which takes place within its walls.
“However, GIMPA, being located on the soil of a developing country, should naturally give prominence to the needs of development. Research and teaching directed at the needs of development should, therefore, be accorded high priority,” he added.
He said in managing higher education institutions, strong governance and leadership skills are required to generate institutional conditions that support quality teaching and research, in order to achieve the institutional mission and vision.
“It is my observation that GIMPA appears to be looking ahead on this road, and is already restructuring itself and implementing strategies to take it into the next fifty years,” Prof Date-Bah said.
To the graduates, the retired Justice said: “Bear in mind always that what makes you a graduate is your capacity to think critically for yourself. A life of leadership awaits you and, if you do retain and nurture your capacity to think critically, success will be yours.”