Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education said government has started the necessary stakeholder consultations to ensure that the country prepares adequately to receive the products of the free SHS programme into the tertiary institutions.
The Minister urged managers of tertiary institutions to indicate to the Ministry their plans for the expected increase in student numbers as well as what government was expected to do to enable the institutions to cope with the expected increase in admissions.
Dr Prempeh said this on Tuesday, at the launch of the 70th anniversary of the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra.
He said education was one of the ways of fighting ignorance, poverty, disease and other challenges confronting the country, adding that, government’s flagship free SHS programme was to reduce high rate of school drop-outs and offer secondary education for the citizenry.
“Financial barriers must never be a reason for a child not to access SHS education, and we will do our best to bridge the educational gap in the country,” he added.
According to the Minister, research was another way of finding solutions to the country’s problems and urged Universities to take keen interest in investing in intensive research.
He urged the tertiary institutions to take research seriously and find innovative and effective ways of linking up with industry and the corporate world to engage in quality, strategic research, targeted at finding practical solutions to real life problems in society.
Dr Prempeh encouraged tertiary institutions to modify their respective curricula to meet current trends and the demands of industry by focusing the training on producing students who are practically oriented in finding solutions to the myriad of problems faced by the country.
He said government together with stakeholders would develop practical ways of reducing unemployment, bearing in mind that, job creation was key and remained high on its agenda.
Dr Prempeh congratulated the University for achieving this milestone of celebrating 70 years, saying that, it was government’s expectation that the Ministry and managers of the institution would continue to work hard to improve on the laurels that had been achieved.
Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, the Chairperson of the 70th Anniversary Planning Committee said the University would in March, launch the “the University of Ghana Endowment Fund” to support the institution to become a world class research institution.
She said the University had outlined activities such as lectures, inter-halls sports, health walk, celebrating senior citizens, Alumni home coming, health screening, and a thanksgiving service to celebrate the anniversary.