UCC Glass Blowing Unit Ready to Produce Quality Glassware for Health and Educational Institutions

The Glass Blowing Unit of the University has been equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment worth GH ¢3 Million to produce different types of glassware to serve the needs of laboratories in Health Facilities, Senior High Schools and Tertiary Institutions in the country. The refurbishment of the Unit which was funded by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training now boasts of state of the art equipment for the production of different types of laboratory glassware such as burettes, pipettes, condensers, centri fuge tubes, boiling tubes, test tubes, round and flat bottom flasks. Other glasses to be produced by the Unit include separating funnel (250ml), thistle funnel and khan tubes. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George K. T. Oduro, said management of the University was elated that the dream of the Glass Blowing Project had been finally realised. He noted that many schools in the rural areas were disadvantaged due to the unavailability of well-equipped science laboratories and as such the Glass Blowing Unit would help fill that gap. Prof. Oduro appealed to COTVET to consider assisting the University to set up mobile science laboratories to assist such schools. “UCC has the capacity to teach and promote science education and the project will motivate young ones to pursue science to the tertiary level” He used the opportunity to appeal to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) to revisit the Science Remedial Programme which used to be run by the University. The Coordinator and Head of COTVET-Project Support Unit, Mr. Matthew Dally said the support to UCC was part of the just ended Ghana Skills and Technology Development Project which was implemented by COTVET with funding from the World Bank and DANIDA. He noted that one of the focal areas of the Project was to enhance the capacity of research institutions to develop technology required by the private sector. “By supporting DRIC with a total of about GH ¢1, 329,8444.04 to acquire modern glassblowing technology, COTVET is convinced that the Directorate cannot only produce efficiently what was previously imported with scarce foreign exchange but also market its products to other laboratories in Ghana, thereby raising revenue to sustain its operations” he stated.

Mr. Dally said apart from the Glassblowing project, COTVET has also supported some departments in the University to undertake other projects. He mentioned that COTVET supported the Department of Vocational and Technical Education with GH¢ 434,250 to develop Competency Based Training Modules in Computer Aided Designing to train tailors and dressmakers in modern industry trends. He also said an amount of GH ¢984, 896 was awarded to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences to enhance its capacity to provide training in fish farming to the private sector and student. This he said had culminated in the formation of partnership between the University and Ainoo-Ansah Farms at Gomoa Okyereko to provide training in that direction In addition, he said the School of Agriculture, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Conservation Biology and Entomology were engaged as service providers by COTVET to transfer modern skills and technology to the oil and gas and agriculture sectors of the economy. He expressed the hope that the University would take good care of the facility adding that “we believe the University being a centre of excellence will employ its good maintenance culture to ensure that the facilities and the equipment provided stood the test of time.

The immediate past Minister for Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said science has always recorded the highest number of students who study for remedial classes. She said UCC was determined to make great impact through teaching, learning and research work in science, “UCC is not poised for flight but in flight, “she added. Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said she was looking forward to the demonstration of the glassblowing technology at the annual COTVET Exhibition. Giving the background of the Glass Blowing Unit, the Director of Research Innovation and Consultancy, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim said the idea to refurbish the Unit was conceived during tenure of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang as Vice-Chancellor in 2011. However, he explained that in 2013, COTVET accepted a proposal from UCC to fund the refurbishment of the Unit and the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole led a team from UCC to sign a contract in the same year at the Ministry of Education. He said the Unit was poised to produce high quality glassware for Universities, Senior High Schools, Health Facilities. Prof. Annim commended the current Vice-Chancellor Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah and the two former Vice-Chancellors for their respective roles in making the Glassblowing Unit project a reality. He also expressed gratitude to the Ministries of Health and Education; Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) and the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) for their support. The Dean of the School of Physical Sciences, Prof. Kofi Essuman said the Unit was capable of producing 5, 000 pipette and 10, 000 test tubes a month. He said the glassware produced by the Unit was conducive for the African Climate unlike those which normally suit temperatures found in that region. Prof. Essuman made a passionate appeal for the revamping of the Aboso Glass Factory to reduce the importation of raw materials for the manufacturing of the glassware.