The Graduate Students Association of Ghana, (GRASAG) UCC chapter, has launched its Silver Anniversary at a ceremony on campus.
Addressing the students, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George K. T. Oduro, commended GRASAG for producing high calibre human resources who were contributing meaningfully to the development of the nation in all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
Prof. Oduro entreated the government and other stakeholders to support private organisations to help curb unemployment since it had become a threat to national security. He said government must support research-based education which according to him was key to addressing the country’s socio-economic needs. He also called on government to strategise and put in place systems that would support graduates to create jobs
Prof Oduro identified unemployment as the major frustration that had forced the youth to engage in all sort of activities that contradicts the nation’s moral values. He stressed on the need to focus on research to solve the unemployment of the youth.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor challenged the University to consider restructuring its curriculum and delivery mode to a more student-centered approach. He was confident that GRASAG-UCC as part of its 25th Anniversary celebration would devote time to reflect and make recommendations to the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders on how postgraduate education could be modified to meet current needs.
The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Prof. Ernest Laryea Okorley, who chaired the function, noted that graduate education was very relevant to the development of the country. He called on the students to make good use of their knowledge so that society would benefit from the training they had received. “You are enjoying what others have suffered so you need to make good use of the knowledge bequeathed to you” he advised.
Prof Okorley called on universities to prioritise and produce graduates who would address specific critical needs of the country. He said “We need to make a conscious effort to make graduate education entrepreneurial and employable” adding that the courses should be more practical.
The President of GRASAG, Mr. Benjamin Sundeme, paid glowing tribute to the forebears of the association for the sacrifices they made to ensure that postgraduate education received the necessary attention in decision making in the country. He traced the history of the association to the 1990s where graduate students mounted pressure on authorities of the existing three public universities thus, University of Ghana, Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and University of Cape Coast to form GRASAG. He said GRASAG was formed with the objective of safeguarding the academic, social, religion and general wellbeing of postgraduate students. “It is worth mentioning again that, it all started with three universities but today, it is a pride to announce that GRASAG has 14 registered local branches and still counting, and this is how far we have come in 25 years,” he stated.
He called on government to provide the need support to make postgraduate education in the country one of the best in the continent adding that “despite the contributions made by postgraduate students themselves to improving conditions for studies, the contributions and support from successive governments of Ghana to the quality of postgraduate studies is imperceptible” He reminded government that the “Ghana aid” mantra could only be realized if more attention was placed on promoting research for nation building.
The President of GRASAG also appealed to the private sector to assist government to reduce the level of unemployment by engaging the services of graduate students. He further advised graduates who were unemployed to reorient their mindset bearing in mind that the era of white collar jobs was no more.
Other activities for the GRASAG Silver Anniversary are Donation to Aboom Special School, Entrepreneurial Clinic/Career Talk, Health Walk, Prostate Cancer Screening/Blood donation, Home Coming and Grand Durbar.