‘Invest and educate your Citizens’, President of Oduduwa University Challenges African Leaders
The Graduate Student Association of f Ghana (GRASAG-UEW Chapter) in collaboration with the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), the Institute for Educational Research and Innovation Studies (IERIS), Centre for International Programmes (CIP), Centre for Conflict, Human Right and Peace Studies (CHRAPS) and the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate has held its second International Multi-disciplinary Conference for Postgraduate Students dubbed IMCfPS@UEW-2017.
Welcoming participants to the conference held at Jophus Anamoah Mensah Conference Hall on 25th July, 2017, the President of GRASSAG-UEW Winneba campus, Mr. Stephen Osei Akyiaw said it is imperative for GRASAG-UEW to enhance the training of research partners within the sub-region.
He continued that a strategic action for the advancement of research and scholarship in a multi-disciplinary manner across UEW satellite campuses, other universities and among relevant stakeholders was key, hence the organization of the Multi-disciplinary Conference.
Delivering his keynote address, Chief Dr. Ramon Adegoke Adedoyin who is the President of Oduduwa University in Nigeria, said the theme,“Reshaping Graduate Studies for the Sustainable Development of the African Continent” is apt when all focus is placed on the issue of restructuring systems across the globe.
He stated that "it is most obligatory for stakeholders in every sector of the African economy to review the policy and strategies that have hampered development for many years now.”He added that education is essential to achieve sustainability, public awareness (which is a mark of quality education) and training (which is the key to moving societies towards sustainability).
He further stressed on the one essential purpose of education which is to produce quality manpower that will engage in various sectors of the societal life politically, socially, economically, morally among others. He added that education plays a major role in breeding quality leadership.
Colonial education in Africa
Touching on the topic “Colonial Education in Africa”, Chief Dr. Ramon said colonialism has in many respect distorted and abrogated the essence of African cultural none trans-institution. He added that “colonialism was not designed to give the colonized confidence and pride as a society but one that sought to instill the sense of difference in the society.”
He further added that colonialism thoughtlessly applied European curricula without reference to African conditions, therefore, several challenges found in the African education can be traced to the faulty foundation laid by the colonial era.
He again lamented on the imprints of corruption left on the African principles, morals, and values that have led to many African leaders being corrupt and compromising to policies that will fast-track the development of Africa.
“Corruption is the reason why developmental policies are not implemented, standards have been compromised and no progress has been made as far as research and implementation are concerned”, he said.
Challenges of graduate education for sustainable development in Africa
Digressing on the issue of the challenges of graduate education, Chief Dr.Adedoyin said “the current crisis state of graduate education is multidimensional with political commitments to academic research being generally feeble at the national level, and added, that most universities are not well funded resulting in deteriorating infrastructural development of essential facilities such as libraries, the internet among many others.
He added that when most Universities in Africa were established graduate education was not given much attention. Furthermore, the graduate student in Africa can be well positioned to address specific developmental issues when given adequate resources for creativity, research and development.
Furthermore, he said staff shortages especially Ph.D. holders has contributed to the many challenges of graduate studies.
He therefore urged African leaders to sustain or keep one system of education and stop toying with our education, but rather, invest in education and stop corruption.
Policy imperatives to address the challenges
For sustainable development to be achieved in Africa, he reverberated the already existing voices calling for policies to be implemented to keep the continent's education in shape.
He enumerated some vital policies that ought to be implemented as;
- Invest in higher education
- Protect academic freedom
- Ensure accessible education
- Create inclusive education
- Produce adequate number of qualified faculties
- Support research that benefits society
- Review educational policies
- Provide state of the art technology.
The Chairman for the conference, Prof. George Kankam commended the speaker for enlightening the participants and also the Graduate Students Association for rolling such a conference to educate the University the community.
Some dignitaries present at the Conference were Prof. Jonathan Armah, Prof.Asiedu Addo, Dr. Harrison Golo, Prof.Kolawale Raheem, Dr. Yaw Nyadu Offei, Dr. Dandy Dampson, Dr. J. Ahmed Bamba, Dr. Jim Weiler among many other high ranked officials of the University.