Saturday, November 29, 2008

Partnership between educational institutions and business community vital - Akufo-Addo

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said his administration would create a partnership between the country's educational institutions and the business community.

     To this end, he said, "we shall re-orient the fields of study of those entering the universities, by investing in the expansion of the facilities and capacities of science, communication, mathematics and research-oriented faculties".
     He said students in those fields would be supported with scholarships and grants.
     Nana Akufo-Addo was addressing members of the Accra Polytechnic branch of the Tertiary Students' Confederacy (TESCON) of the NPP at the school's auditorium on Tuesday.
     It was to brief them on the policies and programmes on education that the NPP administration would implement when voted into power.
     "We need to find a way of bridging the gap between our educational institutions, particularly, our tertiary institutions and our job market.      
     "We shall increase job creation, related to our universities by establishing technology parks near major universities that will speed up the conversion of viable research ideas into business ideas that will create wealth and jobs for our population," he said.
     Nana Akufo-Addo said the establishment of those parks would serve as vital business incubation centres and encourage the universities to go into partnership with the business community.
     The linkages, he said, would bring problems in the business sector quickly to the attention of researchers, while speeding up the adoption of research findings.
     "This will make our universities more entrepreneurial and make them vital cogs in the wheels of job-creation."
     He stressed the need to expand facilities at the primary and secondary levels while improving quality significantly.
     At the tertiary level, the NPP presidential candidate regretted that too many of the few who gained admission into the universities, normally graduated without jobs.
     For this reason, he said, those unemployed graduates should be a constant reminder that the country's educational system required significant overhaul.
     To address this problem, Nana Akufo-Addo underscored the need to ensure that "our university courses are in fields of study that are relevant to our job market".      
     "I believe that our ability to overcome these challenges will determine the future of our country. That is why I have repeatedly pledged to make education the fundamental issue of the next NPP government".
28 Nov. 08   


Social TESCON NPP 2 Accra
     Nana Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that his government would upgrade technical and vocational schools throughout the country to "Colleges of Technology," through the provision of buildings, infrastructure and teaching staff.
     "These institutions will equip our young people with skills in carpentry, masonry, welding, plumbing, landscaping and other such trades that are the life-blood of growing economies".
     Turning to polytechnic education, Nana Akufo-Addo said the country needed more first class polytechnics filled with aspiring engineers, designers, scientists, and academics who had their own dreams for the future of Ghana.
     He said these dreams could be building blocs for a future "that is tolerant, free and prosperous - a Ghana renowned for its renovation and ingenuity".        
     For Ghana to be a stronger and a more innovative nation, the NPP presidential candidate said: "Ghana must do all it can to keep the dreamers dreaming. Education is truly the soil for growing dreams, and we are now at the point where we need big dreams to finish the transformation of Ghana into a modern 21st century nation that remains distinctly and uniquely Ghanaian."      
     On adult illiteracy, Nana Akufo-Addo said his government would commit the necessary resources to have teachers and students of tertiary institutions organize evening and week-end classes to eliminate it.
     This effort, he said, would help "our illiterates to understand basic health information, basic road signs and the fundamentals of finances, so as "to make our population more effective at receiving and using information".
     On teachers and quality, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that to improve the quality of the nation's education across all levels, there was the need to put the teacher at the centre of the educational system.
     He said his administration would improve upon the NPP's programme which sought to upgrade the skills of pupil teachers and make them full-fledged professionals.
     In addition to improving the training facilities, he said "we shall pay our teachers more; pay them rural and housing allowances, and expand opportunities for distance and sandwich learning programmes to help them upgrade their skills".
      He said this would be crowned with a retirement package that would help most teachers to retire with owned homes.
      "The teacher will once again be one of the most respected persons in our community, and while there will be significant rewards in heaven, there will be a lot more for the teacher here on earth," said.

 GNA via

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