"Be employers and not employees"
In a bid to assist students who are genuinely confronted with acute financial challenges, the Sunyani Technical University has set up a fund to ensure that they are able to complete their programmes without deferring or abandoning them.
Known as the Student Financial Support Fund, contributions have started pouring in from management, staff and students of the university since it was started.
Launching the fund at the university’s 11th congregation in Sunyani, the Vice-Chancellor, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah called on benevolent individuals and organizations to contribute generously to the fund to help make the dreams of the less privileged students become a reality.
In all, 1,422 students were awarded various degrees and certificates, including Bachelor of Technology, Higher National Diploma, among others.
The Vice-Chancellor assured prospective students of the university that, with the support fund now in place, “no student will enter the Sunyani Technical University and surrender their programmes due to financial inadequacy, as they can always apply for support from the SFSF.”
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah announced that the university had begun the process of introducing new programmes that would drive the development of Ghana, saying the university had already submitted a number of 4-year Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) programmes to the National Accreditation Board for accreditation.
Conditions of service
Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah called on the government to improve on the conditions of service of lecturers of technical universities in order to effectively contain the high employee turn-over being experienced currently.
“It is regrettable to note that some of the Faculty who get the opportunity to be sponsored by the Sunyani Technical University through our limited IGF, complete their PhD programmes only to resign from the university to join other traditional universities due to the vast disparities in the conditions of service”, he said.
Re-tooling of labs and workshops
Touching on other issues, Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said the university had put in place measures to introduce new programmes that will drive the development of Ghana.
He announced that AMATROL Mechatronic Equipment, a contractor expected to supply and install some equipment needed for practical work on campus, has arrived at the instance of government to begin work.
“The supply and installation of Amatrol equipment will go a long way to reduce cost of training of our students....and will also enhance teaching and learning, especially practical training of our students to become relevant to the job market…”
Judicious use of IGF
The Vice-Chancellor further said the university was undertaking a number of projects with its Internally Generated Funds (IGF).
Among them, he said, was the pavement of the car –park in front of the science laboratory and the major renovation works on the GETFund Hostel, among several others.
According to him, construction works on a 1,000-bed capacity hostel will soon commence by a private person in “a Build-Operate-and-Transfer arrangement” to provide decent accommodation for students.
Prof Kwesi Yankah, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, in a speech read for him, urged the graduands to advantage of existing government policies such as the One-District, One-Factory; Planting for Food and Jobs and the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Programme to better their lot.
“As to whether you will become a job seeker or a successful entrepreneur depends largely on the individual and so I would encourage you to constantly think outside the box and consider ways of riding on the back of the numerous opportunities presented by both government and the private sector to make a difference”, he added.