6th GRASAG-UEW IMCfPS Held
The Graduate Students Association of Ghana, University of Education, Winneba Chapter (GRASAG-UEW), has held its 6th International Multidisciplinary Conference for Postgraduate Students (IMCfPS). It was under the theme “Change and Digital Transformation in the New Normal: The Role of the Postgraduate Student”.
The three-day conference took place at the Jophus Anamuah-Mensah Conference Centre, North Campus, UEW, from Wednesday, 7th to Friday, 9th September, 2022. It was under the distinguished Chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor of UEW, Prof. Mawutor Avoke.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, who spoke on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor at the opening ceremony, reaffirmed UEW's consistent rank among the top five universities in Ghana for general academics as well as its strong reputation for preparing teachers and other professionals for critical disciplines both in Ghana and abroad.
“Currently, UEW is the leading public university in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa known for its quality professional teacher education. UEW plays a crucial role and is leading Ghana’s path in producing scholars whose knowledge will meet the realities and events of contemporary Ghana and the West Africa sub-region,” he asserted.
Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang addressing participants on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mawutor Avoke
Prof. Ofori-Birikorang recognised the value of graduate students' contributions to UEW's advancement. “The University needs and earnestly awaits the contributions from our graduate students who have gathered here, our professors and others who are participating in this event to advance her efforts toward an all-inclusive development agenda that will drive the achievement of our institutional and national goals.”
The Chairman of the IMCfPS Planning Committee and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Prof. Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo, commended all former GRASAG-UEW Presidents for their unwavering support. He also commended Senior Members of the University for their dedication to making the conference the most successful since its inception.
"For the first time, 55 papers will be presented. The majority of the abstracts are in keeping with the theme. It shows that the organising committee did an excellent job,” he remarked.
From top L-R: Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang , Prof. Samuel Asiedu-Addo, Prof. Charles K. Assuah and Mr. Issaka Akudugu
Prof. Asiedu-Addo was hopeful that the conference would encourage graduate students to see the value of undertaking problem-solving research. “The standard of a university is its research output. In light of this, I strongly advise you to devote yourself totally to your thesis and research.”
The Dean, Centre for International Programmes (CIP) and Co-Chair of the IMCfPS Planning Committee, Prof. Charles K. Assuah, pointed out that the conference would enable postgraduate students to actively participate in the ongoing discussion on e-learning and suggest relevant learning tools to support learning in schools.
"The conference will assist students in developing their presentation abilities and the motivation to adopt organised techniques to support their presentations in the classrooms and workplaces in the future. They can improve their presentation skills by employing innovation to offer information more expertly in this age of technological growth,” he said.
The keynote speaker from the Faculty of Education, University of Hamburg, Germany, Prof. Dr. Telse Iwers, emphasised the fundamental elements defining current developments and the growing significance of data literacy.
From L-R: Prof. Dr. Telse Iwers, Prof. Ernest Kofi Abotsi and Dr. Mary Eshun
“The new learning theories built on constructivism and research-oriented learning are important for teacher candidates to understand. They also need to understand how to implement collaborative learning settings in schools and how to use digital technologies to support these settings.
“Additionally, they require the conversion of learning-related knowledge into skills, as well as the digital support of the data, the willingness and capacity to critically analyse directions, as well as the highlight attitudes and values,” she averred.
Prof. Dr. Telse Iwers underscored the need to ensure that teacher training programmes concentrate on knowledge, skills, and attitudes concerning digitalised approaches as well as the change in their role as teachers addressing instruction and frontline teaching.
The Managing Partner of Axis Legal, Prof. Ernest Kofi Abotsi, who was the guest of honour, charged participants to transition into the digital terrestrial era for relevant digital knowledge.
A cross-section of dignitaries who graced the occasion
He said the digital age had indeed become the world’s new normal, and hence university students ought to prepare to adjust to its demands or risk becoming endangered and irrelevant. "This is the sad but painful truth, and many have already started suffering the reality. There are many first-class graduate students from universities today who tragically continue to move from one office to the other looking for jobs."
Prof. Abotsi predicted that there will come a time when the management of educational institutions will start debating whether it makes more sense to employ robots or machines, which do not require compensation over humans.
"The danger of using human beings is the reason why machines are replacing humans; the evidence and the field research results are clear that machines have a higher threshold of certainty and accuracy. The only reason humans are still there is that someone ought to operate the machine," he said.
The Principal of the Ghana International School (GIS), Dr. Mary Eshun, addressing participants on the GIS pandemic experience with teaching and learning said that teachers are assets, essential to national prosperity, and should never be neglected.
“Once we start seeing the critical importance of teachers in nation-building, we shall forever grow. What have we put in place to ensure that teachers are seen as assets and do teachers believe they are indeed assets? It starts with us believing that we are important to national growth.
Guest speakers and members of the planning committee
“Sometimes we forget that excellence can reign on this continent; we think excellence is somewhere else. It isn’t! Excellence can happen right here in Ghana with the Ghanaian people leading,” she stated.
In his welcome address, the President of GRASAG-UEW, Mr. Issaka Akudugu, extended sincere appreciation to graduate students of the University, particularly to his fellow executives for their tremendous work in putting together the conference.
He commended Mr. Ebenezer Otoo, a postgraduate student at the Department of Art Education, for winning the best teacher award in the country for the 2021 academic year.
“This proves that UEW is truly having the desired effect on society. This influenced the conference's theme, allowing us to produce a conclusion that will benefit and drive development in the university community and the country as a whole. We will discuss ideas on this intellectual forum, which in the long term will contribute to the growth of our country,” Mr. Akudugu professed.
The Ag. Registrar of UEW, Mrs. Wilhelmina Tete-Mensah; Principal, College of Languages Education, Ajumako, Prof. Dominic Kwaku Danso Mensah; Deans, Directors, Heads of Department and lecturers were all present at the opening.