KNUST, DTI sign MoU to improve competency-based learning

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Design and Technology Institute (DTI) to promote and improve competency-based learning among the students.

The agreement will provide the University’s faculties with accredited Precision Quality (PQ) curriculum and also integrate the same into KNUST’s learning outcomes.

Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, at the signing ceremony in Kumasi, said although the University was performing well in some of the sustainable development indicators, there were some lapses in entrepreneurship, adding that, it appeared students were not fit for the purpose.

“When it comes to putting students to test and weighing the skills when they leave school, something is gone amiss.

“We as an institution are working closely with the Tertiary Education Commission to review the curriculum,” he disclosed, adding that the move could grant students a lot of entrepreneurship training.

Prof Owusu-Dabo said the University had also set up the Students’ Internship Placement and Career Development Centres to bridge the gap between certification and practical skills acquisition to ensure that students acquired the requisite skills before completing school.

He expressed the hope that the partnership with DTI would grant additional skills acquisition.

The Pro-VC said such collaborations could be a potential for facilitating job placement after school, factoring in the skills students would acquire during internships and field studies.

“It is a model of quality incubator and demonstration, the partnership will add up to the existing similar modules in the University to be able to stem the tide of the increasing unemployment,” he observed.

He said the ramifications of quality education should spiral into the economy through the demonstration of skills of the students who come out of the university.

Ms Constance Elizabeth Swaniker, the Chief Executive Officer of DTI, explained the concepts of the PQ curriculum and said it was about soft skills and she believed it was more powerful than hard skills.

The curriculum consisted of the change to grow, integration, people and team development, health and safety in the workplace as well as managing quality and customer relations modules.

She indicated that the Institution aimed to bring industry to the doorsteps of KNUST and all other relevant technical universities.

The rapid growth and changing trends in the industry, she noted, called for an urgent need to bridge the gap between academia and industry, urging institutions to position themselves to embrace new trends.

Ms Swanker called on universities to pay attention to transitioning young people properly into the world of work.

She said transitions to work should begin from day one so from the first year students could go through practicalities until they completed so that they could acquire much experience.

According to Ms Swaniker, the signing of the MoU formed part of DTI’s collaborative strategy to work with stakeholders to “Transform youth TVET Livelihood for Sustainable Jobs” Policy.

It seeks to enable some 30 million young people, particularly women, access to dignified and fulfilling work opportunities by 2030.

Source: GNA

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