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Former Janitor Earns an MPhil Degree at UEW

Mr. Alfred Otabil, a Principal Administrative Assistant at the Directorate of Security Services at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has worked himself through the ranks in the university to earn a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Educational Administration and Management from UEW at its second session of the 27th Congregation.

Mr. Otabil, has over three decades of experience with the university. He started his career with the university as a cleaner and model at the Art Education Department of the then-Specialist Training College (STC) from 1990 to 1993, the University College of Education, Winneba (UCEW), and UEW.

He worked as a Clerk Grade III at the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor between 1999 and 2003. From 2010 to 2013, the former janitor served as the University Clinic's first administrator and oversaw the Medical Records Unit. In 2014, he returned to the Department of Art Education as an Administrative Assistant. On 1st July, 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Senior Administrative Assistant in the Estate Section of the university, and in 2022, five years after that, he was promoted to the rank of Principal Administrative Assistant.

This accomplishment wasn't handed to Mr. Otabil on a silver platter. He put a lot of effort into his work and was unwavering in his resolve to obtain a university degree. He is the third of his late father's 19 children, and among his 14 sons, he is still the only one with a university degree employed in the public sector. His perseverance and patience earned him this honour.

During his days at the Department of Art Education, he was part of the university staff who designed the iconic 14 horn-blowing sculptures at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra. He also facilitated the completion of the multimedia laboratory at the department with the support of his Head of Department and the Dean of the School of Creative Arts within eight months. He was the initiator of the first-ever art exhibition for UEW, which started with the 19th Congregation of the University in 2014.

In his days at the university clinic, he spearheaded efforts for accurate record keeping and a clearly defined set of secretarial responsibilities, proposed and designed patient folders, proposed and designed medicine carrier bags, designed a manual medical records system, and proposed, designed, and facilitated the construction of shelves for the medical records room.

 

Mr. Alfred Otabil holds up the certificate he received from UEW for being named the best worker in the senior staff category

 

In recognition of his hard work and dedication, the Management of UEW in 2020 adjudged Mr. Alfred Otabil as the best worker in the senior staff category. He has served as the Chairman of the Inauguration Planning Committee of the Senior Staff Association-Universities of Ghana, UEW Chapter, from September 2019 to February 2020; secretary for the Protocol Committee at the 16th Annual General Meeting of the UEW Co-operative Credit Union in 2016; and member of the November Congregation Planning Committee in 2012 and 2013.

Mr. Otabil discussed the challenges of juggling work and studies in an interview with the UEW Media Relations team. However, he urged his colleagues, especially junior staff, to keep going and begin pursuing additional studies via distance learning, adding that this was the only way to help them master their craft at the university. He entreated heads of departments to support their subordinates in this regard to help them get to their destinations in life.

He was full of gratitude to all the bosses under whom he worked for their encouraging words and significant contributions to his academic feat. He also thanked the university for sponsoring his bachelor's degree. However, he pleaded with management to reevaluate the promotion mechanism for junior employees who had worked for more than 20 years at the university.

"Although I have observed a positive working relationship between management and the unions, we hope to see more, particularly in the advancement of experienced personnel. We want Management to consider those of us who started from scratch. Some of the pioneering personnel, like myself, and then some who came in later along the line in the early 1990s, now have master's degrees but are still not senior members.

"I didn't get promoted to the principal position like someone else who started out at the institution as a senior administrative assistant. Thus, Management can consider those of us who have been in the system for a long time and have the necessary qualifications now. This will motivate and encourage the older ones who are now studying," he implored the university Management.  

 

 

Mr. Otabil urged the organisers of staff awards to try to find corporate sponsorship to enhance the amount of money awarded to honourees.  

The indefatigable Otabil was part of the 1,132 postgraduate students who graduated at the second session of the 27th Congregation held at the Jophus Anamuah-Mensah Conference Centre today, Saturday, 26th August, 2023.

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