The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang, has appealed to the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to ensure its primary focus on the training of teachers is not compromised with the diversification of programmes in the university.
Prof Opoku-Agyemang said this on Friday when she swore in a 13-member reconstituted Governing Council of the UCC in Cape Coast with Samuel Nana Brew Butler as its chairman.
The university was initially established to train the core of teachers required for all levels of the educational system particularly the pre-tertiary level.
The Minister commended UCC for efforts made to fulfill its mandate of training teachers over the years and for being the pool from which the nation continued to draw teachers to support the educational system.
She urged the school authorities to explore more flexible ways of conducting the Distance Education Programme provided by the university so that teachers on the programmes would not have to miss out on contact hours with their pupils.
“The importance of education is never more apparent than it is today in a rapidly changing 21st century, advances in technology have made the world a much different place than it was even 10 years ago,” she said.
The Minister said the careers and occupations of past years had been replaced with jobs unheard of 10 years ago, adding that the university might be training learners for jobs that might not even exist at the present.
She said admitted that this might be a huge challenge but she called for extreme focus on the core outcomes of education as a whole which include innovation and creativity, tolerance and respect for diversity and as well as turning challenges into opportunities.
Prof . Opoku-Agyemang said she was happy that the strategy of increasing the quality of knowledge in the universities was being pursued and pledge that the Ministry of Education would continue to do its best to support the University of Cape Coast to meet its mandate to the education sector and other human resource needs of the economy.
Mr Butler, on behalf of the members, thanked the UCC, the Ministry of Education and the President of Ghana for the honour done them and pledged that they would bring to bear expertise from their varied backgrounds .
“We will tap into the store of institutional memory, array of expertise and existing developmental blue-prints to draw up strategies for addressing same and to assiduously implement such strategies to put UCC on a path towards achieving the goals originally set for it,” he said.
Mr Butler promised that the Council would exhibit selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and strong leadership to propel UCC forward.
He told the council members that they were coming into office at the time tax payers were calling for innovation and direct linkages between universities and industry and that it was imperative for them to lead the way to improve on the income generation of UCC to support improvement in the academic standards of the institution to enable it compete favourably with other universities of the world.
Professor Donwini Dabire Kuupole, the Vice Chancellor, appealed to the Council members to perform their duties diligently to enhance the development of the University.