President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the nation to summon up the spirit of determination and tenacity, as well as the kind of patriotism exhibited by the forebears of the country, in the effort to surmount the current challenges that have engulfed the economy.
He recalled the “patriotic endeavour” of great nationalists like Jacob Sey, J.P Brown, Joseph Casely Hayford, John Mensah Sarbah, Kobina Sekyi and J.W. de Graft-Johnson, “whose activities and advocacy succeeded in protecting the indigenous ownership of our lands, when that was threatened by the British colonial power at the high tide of imperialism…”.
“It is this same example of patriotic endeavour, this same spirit of determination and tenacity by the aborigines, that we must summon up today to enable us navigate the current difficult headwinds that have engulfed the economy of our country, so that we can come out of them stronger and more empowered than we were before to continue our journey towards our destiny of prosperity and freedom for the Black Star of Ghana,” the President charged the nation.
President Akufo-Addo gave the charge yesterday when he addressed the grand durbar of the 60th anniversary of University of Cape Coast, where he commissioned a number of infrastructural expansion projects.
Quality education, equal opportunities
The President reaffirmed the commitment of his government to providing quality education and equal opportunities for future generations to have a good education.
He assured that despite the current difficulties confronting the nation, Government would continue to intervene, and remain responsible for the provision of free and quality basic and secondary education for all.
The President said that he came into office with the belief that education should be a right “of which all of Ghana’s youth should avail”.
He observed that today’s youth running barefoot to school could be a future leader of the arts, business, industry or government, stressing that “education is the equaliser of opportunity”.
“I am in this position as President of the Republic because of education. I want every child to attend school, not just for what they learn in books, but for the life experiences that they will gain. I want each of them to look in the mirror in the morning, every morning, and know that they can achieve anything they dream of when they complete their studies.
“I want them to be confident that what they study is relevant to the demands of today, and of tomorrow. I want every child to be comfortable in the knowledge that, when they work hard, they will be as capable as anyone else in the world,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo therefore urged parents to look upon their children with pride, as they watch them mature into self-confident adults.
Tribute to UCC
Commending the University for its contributions to national development, the President emphasised the need for stakeholders to use the occasion to reflect on its successes and failures.
“Noted for its advances in education, business, agriculture and medicine, UCC has also produced, in its relatively short existence, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, High Commissioners and Ambassadors, and Heads of National and International Agencies. I am reliably informed that most of the public Universities in Ghana, today, are headed by products of UCC,” the President stated.
“What are society’s expectations of a contemporary University and a modern-day university graduate,” he quizzed.
This question, he said, had inundated the public space for quite some time, adding that the verdict appears to be that universities are not producing enough hands-on and practical-oriented graduates, tailor-made to fit seamlessly into the world of work.
It is against this backdrop that the President commended the Vice-Chancellor on his vision to produce graduates with entrepreneurial mindsets.
The President assured that Government will do everything possible to ensure that this vision is realised not only at UCC, but also within the broader spectrum of Ghana’s tertiary education landscape.
In his view, this is the way to go if the country’s university education is to remain relevant in contributing to national development.
The President also charged the University to remain pure and unadulterated in the provision of quality academic and intellectual discourse, and in finding solutions to complex and far-reaching problems across borders and disciplines.