Central University (CU) has held her first virtual graduation ceremony with a call on government to prioritize the training of health workers for Ghana to be better prepared for future pandemics.
The ceremony, which is the 19th Congregation of the CU, had members of the graduating class participating from the comfort of their homes in an attempt to curb the spread of the corona virus.
Speaking to a virtual audience from the Miotso campus, Vice-Chancellor, CU, Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu, asked government to give “considerable support to those institutions that are making strenuous efforts to train professionals in health… since the training in the medical sciences is an expensive business.”
In championing his call for human capital policy framework for Ghana in relation to development of the health care sector, the Vice-Chancellor said, “We do not know when the next pandemic would hit, but we do know that there are certain primary health resources which are needed no matter the type of pandemic.”
In referring to the state of private tertiary education in Ghana, the Professor indicated that private universities had been hard hit by Covid-19, which had made it challenging for most of them to meet some of their institutional obligations.
He also told of how some of the private universities had lost staff to public institutions and were engrossed in huge debts which had serious impact on their capacity to run as institutions.
Prof. Puplampu observed that Ghana needed a policy framework in higher education that recognized the fact that 25% of the about 400,000 students enrolled in higher education at any time were in private universities.
“Unfortunately, the narrative is that the only higher education institutions worth noting are the ones in the public sector. This truncates the additional contribution that private universities can make to our educational efforts,” he lamented.
The Vice-Chancellor indicated that, for over 25 years, the private universities had helped public universities which were over stretched and were struggling with infrastructure, etc., and therefore needed commendation.
In appreciating the Ghana Government for her free SHS policy, the Professor asked for “a fee credit system that offered every student who passed the WASSCE a fee voucher equivalent to the academic facility user fee.”
He observed that it would help the eligible student to freely apply to any institution and any programme , ensure an even distribution of students, and help those who could not afford higher education.
Prof. Puplampu admonished the graduating students to understand that, progress was a painstaking process, and that short cuts in life would lead to problems, and therefore they should work hard and be true ambassadors of what they had learnt.
Central University graduated over one thousand six hundred and eight students from 27 programmes. Eighty of the students had first class, 503 second class upper, 470 second class lower, 239 third class, 152 pass category, and 154 from graduate school.102