Professor Samuel Kwame Offei, the Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, said going forward, their programmes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, would concentrate on creating the 21st century graduate, by focusing on critical and analytical thinking, entrepreneurship and intellectual development, and on making all their programmes more responsive to the needs of the country and industry.
“We need to work together to ensure that the youth are well trained and ready for modern work place by the time they leave school, and I am sure that all of us here today are committed to working to make sure that this does take place,” Prof Offei stated in his closing remarks at the end of the 69th Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) in Accra.
“There is a critical need to focus more on education and training, as one of the surest ways of equipping our young people with the requisite skills for the world of work,” he said.
“There is the need for a comprehensive national re-assessment of skills development across the educational landscape that will insight the development of a skills development policy for the country,” Prof Offei added.
He noted that unemployment had economic, social and political consequences and every nation must ensure that their youth find jobs in the public or private sector, or to be able to create their own jobs when they graduate.
He said the youth were a resource that needs to be fully harnessed to provide the critical ingredient for social cohesion and national development.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor recounted that Dr Sam Jonah, the Executive Chairman, Jonah Capital, who delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 69th ANYSC, noted that ‘we cannot develop as a nation until we take bold decisions and act expeditiously to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive’.
Prof Offei said: “When the private sector develops, jobs can be created to address the unemployment challenges facing the country”.
Prof Michael Ayitey Tagoe, the Acting Provost, College of Education, and the Dean, School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, said one of the major objectives of the ANYSC was to shape public policy through the recommendations of the School.
He said one of the major outcomes of the 69th ANYSC had been the fact that Government alone could not create jobs; declaring that “The private sector must be seen to be leading the agenda of job creation in Ghana”.
Among the dignitaries who graced the closing ceremony was Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, immediate past Dean, School of Continuing and Distance Education.
The event on the theme “Job Creation for Accelerated National Development: The Role of the Private Sector”, recorded an unprecedented number of over 320 participants, which is the highest ever over the past decade.
The ANYSC is organised annually by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, to provide a platform for a dispassionate discussion of important issues of national and international concern.
The week-long event was under the auspices of Komos Energy, Vodafone Ghana, Goil, Voltic, Daily Graphic, Prudential Bank and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.