Ensuring quality education for the people
At first glance, a list of 17, 819 students given admission to read the various courses at the University of Ghana look way over the top. The numbers are likely to stretch facilities at the nation’s premier university to breaking point.
But, as Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ernest Aryeetey said at the matriculation of new entrants, the university is saddened by its decision to turn away nearly two-thirds of the qualified students.
Apparently, as many as 40,773 qualified candidates applied, out of which 17,819 were chosen. It is a matter of many are called, but few are chosen. Nearly 30,000 students were denied admission, not on the account of their inability to satisfy the requirement for entry. They were denied access to quality education, simply because, facilities at the university could not contain that number.
In the first place, we deem the 17,819 fresh students to be too many. The Chronicle would like to believe that the number is too large for facilities at the premier university to offer quality learning. What the university would have to take on board is to open campuses in other places. As it is, the University of Ghana has only one campus, apart from the main Legon campus.
The City Campus, formerly Accra Workers College, is the only campus other than Legon, operated by the University of Ghana. As the university positions itself at the centre of Ghana’s higher education drive, the authorities would have to consider opening more campuses.
The sheer numbers are undermining quality education at the tertiary level. As it is, tutorials are being phased out of higher learning in state institutions. One on one interactions between students and lecturers are also becoming a thing of the past.
With the two leading political parties in the December elections promising some form of free second cycle education as prescribed by the Constitution, the state would have to fund more universities to cater for the growing population.
The private universities are doing their best to bridge the yawning gap in tertiary education. But, the brunt truth is that there is more emphasis on recovery cost at the private level than with the state institutions.
As the country drives towards building a sustained Middle Income society, the need for a quality work-force to drive the scheme would be more pronounced.
That is why we need to start building the structures now. In the opinion of The Chronicle, the only means of ensuring that this society is prepared for the take-off is to educate the people.
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