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General News Sun, 30 Sep 2007

Train more vocational/tech teachers - Universities urged

Winneba, C/R, GNA - The Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, has charged tertiary institutions especially the universities to train more vocational and technical teachers for the success of the educational reform programme.
He noted that the 1987 Reforms failed because of the lack of technical/vocational teachers in the country to train students ready for the "job marketplace" after school.
"UEW is currently the only institution training technical teachers with limited facilities," he said.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah was delivering a valedictory lecture at the South Campus Auditorium of the University on Friday at Winneba on the topic "Walking the dream: Reflection of a Vice Chancellor". He called for blending of teaching approaches with distance learning as the main model to increase the number of such teachers by the Universities.
The Vice Chancellor stated that a pilot programme sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning had been introduced at the University and stressed the need to expand it.
He noted that technical people who completed polytechnics with the Higher National Diploma Certificate found it difficult to get job placement in industries and other areas and said the two-year programme in educational studies was to turn them into professional teachers. The Vice Chancellor said the programme was began with the vision of making the University responsive to the needs of the school system and the job marketplace must offer convenient first rate learning opportunities, modern facilities, state-of-the art technology and student services to make it successful.
He stated that the challenges the University had to grapple with included unfavourable age profile of staff and the need to redress the gender imbalance in both the student population and faculty members.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah said an unfavourable research environment, unattractive salaries and conditions of service, provision of adequate physical and learning facilities for both staff and students were some of the challenged coupled with inadequate funding.
"For almost a decade no, UEW has been undergoing a systematic process of transformation to become a leader in teacher education in the sub-region. This process resulted in significant changes in the culture and environment of the institution before the attainment of full-fledged university status," he stressed.
Professor Akwasi Asabere Ameyaw, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor-Elect, who chaired the function, described Prof Anamuah-Mensah as his "mentor, role- model and inspirer" and on behalf of the University authorities and students expressed profound gratitude to him for his hard work and dedication.
He expressed the hope that he would continue to advice and encourage him to attain the quality leadership to make the UEW "a place of excellence for learning".
Present at the lecture were Professor S. Y. Boafo, Ghana's Former Ambassador to Cote D'Iviore and France and the current Chairman of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), Professor Ameyaw Ekumfi, Minister of Harbours, Ports and Railways, Mr C Y Akwaah Mensah, Registrar of the University, Heads of Department, Professors and Dr Mandoh Botchwey, Chief Executive Officer of the Klimovic Hospital at Winneba.

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Source: GNA
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