17th May 2024

Napo speaks at the commissioning of the first phase of UESD

By Mudasiru Abdul Yakeen, Somanya

 

The Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has indicated that the achievement of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the education sector far outweighs achievement of all past presidents of Ghana.

 

“Your record in education is unprecedented. I will keep saying it anywhere because people said you couldn’t do it, including MPs and Ministers. One of them said it to my face that if Free SHS was possible the first President would have done it.

 

“So, if it was impossible and it has been done successfully under the current President’s watch, then standing on that logic the government of Akufo-Addo has done more than any government as far as education is concerned,” Napo, as the Education Minister is affectionately called, stated.

 

He was speaking at the commissioning of Phase One and ground breaking of Phase Two of the first public university in the Eastern Region, the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) on Wednesday at Somanya, in the Eastern Region.

 

The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Manhyia North, indicated that apart from the successful implementation of the Free SHS programme, the investment made in infrastructural projects in the education sector within the short period of President Akufo-Addo’s administration is unmatched in the ‘first and the full terms’ of any president of Ghana.

 

Touching on the Phase Two of the UESD project, the Minister assured that it would be his major priority to ensure that the project is completed on time.

 

New learning system

 

The Minister urged the interim council of the university to understand the unfortunate times the country finds herself in, and develop learning systems that will fit the exigencies of the time.

He urged the management of the school to consider a blend of ICT-related programmes and face-to-face teaching and learning measures to protect staff and students of the school from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

He disclosed that Cabinet has given landmark approval for the establishment of Open University in Ghana and new learning management system for all universities such that education can continue amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Meanwhile, the newly commissioned university is expected to admit its first batch of students for the 2020/21 academic year.

 

Facilities

The Phase One facilities commissioned include a lecture hall for the School of Natural and Environmental Science; a multi-purpose auditorium for the School of Natural and Environmental Science; a laboratory building for the School of Agriculture and Agro-Entrepreneurship Development; faculty offices (administration block) for the School of Agriculture and Agro-Entrepreneurship Development; Vice Chancellor’s residency; Pro-Vice Chancellor’s residency; and key officers’ residencies.

 

President Akufo-Addo has also indicated that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) has released money, through the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), for the payment of compensation to the original land owners.

“I have been assured that the outstanding amounts will be settled within the next two weeks “he said.

 

Following the completion of this process, President Akufo-Addo noted, the stage is now set for the rollout of Phase Two of the university, which will involve the provision of additional lecture halls; main library; laboratory; football pitch; handball/basketball court; badminton court; tennis court; and a tartan track.

 

“The contract for Phase Two was signed on 6th May, 2020. It is a turnkey contract agreement with M/S Contracta, valued at forty-nine million, eight hundred and ninety-one thousand, ninety-eight euros (€49,891,098.00), to be completed within thirty (30) months of signature of the agreement,” President Akufo-Addo stated during the commissioning of the first phase.

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