The Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG) has welcomed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akfuo-Addo’s decision to facilitate the establishment of an Open University in Ghana.
According to GRASAG “this announcement answers years of advocacy by the Graduate Students Association.”
In a statement signed by Heartwill Selasi Tamekloe, President of GRASAG, it noted that “upon a successful establishment of the University, Ghana will join the league of countries running Open Universities including India, Israel and the United Kingdom.”
“In the epoch of COVID-19, an Open University will facilitate virtual enrolment, lecture
delivery, certification and will ensure affordability. Physical contacts and stress will be
minimised. An Open University will contribute to increasing Ghana’s Gross Tertiary
Enrolment Ratio currently which stands at 18.8%.
“As the official mouthpiece of the research fraternity of the country, we assure the
government of our unflinching support, readiness, and willingness to ensure that this idea
is realised. The association has lessons to share from its experience running webinars
and online conferences,” the statement said.
President Akufo-Addo, during his first State of the Nation Address for his second term, promised the establishment of an Open University in the country.
“Sixty-four (64) years after independence, we still do not have the critical mass of tertiary education graduates that is required for our socioeconomic transformation. Currently, Ghana’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio stands at 18.8%, which, albeit very low, is still one of the highest in Africa. We must, therefore, introduce measures to increase consciously the proportion of our population with relevant tertiary education to accelerate the transformation of our country.
“Our target is to increase the ratio from the current 18.8% to 40% by 2030, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields, with emphasis on engineering. This will be achieved by significantly increasing enrolment in existing public and private universities and through the establishment of an Open University,” the President said.
Meanwhile GRASAG has also appealed to the President and the Ministry of Education to extend the laptop distribution programme to graduate students. This, according to the association, will “enhance our role as partners in national development through research and practice, and also enable our members benefit fully from the services of the Open University and other webinars.”
President Akufo-Addo has announced that Government is facilitating the acquisition of 280,000 laptops for members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concern Teachers (CCT) this year. Moving forward, the Minister for Education will soon detail an action plan for the implementation of the National Teacher Policy.