The Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has emphasised on the need for government to accommodate divergent views expressed by stakeholders on the new Public Universities Bill.
The Asantehene noted that the concerns of key stakeholders such as the Vice-Chancellors Ghana (VCG), University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and members of convocation across all public universities should be considered seriously, in the final draft to promote harmony and industrial peace on campuses. He further urged government to allow further and broader consultations in order to iron out all grey areas before the bill is presented to parliament for consideration.
He made these remarks at the final session of KNUST’s 53rd Congregation Ceremony held last Saturday at the Great Hall.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II reiterated his appeal to Government to support the KNUST Teaching Hospital project and assist in the provision of residential accommodation for students on campus to complement the efforts of the private sector. He further appealed to government to consider the University’s request on recruitment of staff to improve its Students-Teacher ratio.
The Chancellor also announced that the Committee he set up to investigate the October 22 crises has submitted its Report and would comment on it in due course after the necessary consultations.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, stated that in view of ongoing projects, the University hopes to expand the capacity of its academic facilities to absorb about 23,728 new students resulting from the envisaged high numbers from the Free SHS Policy. He therefore appealed to the Government through GETFUND to provide the needed funds to complete the projects on time.
Professor Obiri-Danso further added that KNUST has established a campus in Obuasi to offer Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Metallurgical, Geological Engineering, Geomatic Engineering, Environmental Science and Business Administration with options in Logistic & Supply Chain Management/Business Information Technology for the 2019/2020 academic year.
The Vice-Chancellor further announced that TEK TV has received the needed authorisation from National Communications Authority to broadcast education related programs on free-to-air digital satellite platform nationwide. He explained that the University is collaborating with the Ministry of Education with support from Media 7, a private satellite company in Accra in this regard. It is anticipated that the Educational Television Project will create a platform where live instructions could be delivered to reach out to students especially those in less endowed schools.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who represented the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the government was working assiduously to promote science and technology education. For this reason, it would continue to assist KNUST with infrastructural development in order to train the critical human resource needed to spearhead the nation’s developmental aspirations.
He lauded the University authorities for their commitment to duty and advised the graduands to bring to bear on the society the expertise they have acquired to help improve the living conditions of the people.
The six-day congregation event saw Seven Thousand, One Hundred and Five (7,105) undergraduates and One Thousand and Seventy-Two (1,072) postgraduates graduating with respective degrees.
Out of the 7,105 undergraduates, 930 made a first class representing 34.3%. Of the 7,105 undergraduates, Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Four (2,574) were females and out of this, 330 obtained first class honours. There were 51 PhD graduates, of which 16 were women.
The College breakdown of the graduation statistics are as follows: College of Art and Built Environment - 943, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources - 722, College of Engineering - 919 and College of Health Sciences 1,079, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - 1,593.
The rest are College of Science - 1,343, Institute of Distance Learning - 1,578, 36 from the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, Bunso and KNUST-AISWAM 21.