The 19TH Congregation of the Accra Technical University (ATU) was held in Accra on Friday with female graduates in an unprecedented fashion, dominating their male counterparts as they picked up the prestigious awards of the ceremony.
Not only did a female, Roberta Krasewa Thompson emerge the Overall Best Graduate, the females also swept away all the awards for the best students in three faculties that graduated.
The Best Graduating Student for Applied Sciences went to Ms Thompson, Best Graduating Student; Applied Arts was received by Portia Anyomi, while Best Graduating Student for Faculty of Business went to Roberta Antwi.
Guests, lecturers, parents and colleague graduating students could not hold their ecstasy as they applauded the female students, who one after the other, majestically walked up to the podium beaming with pride and confidence to receive their awards.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, exhilarated Ms Thompson said the exploits of the females were an indication that they could do better when they work hard and do not consider themselves inferior to the male counterparts.
The 22-year-old added that the incident affirmed the old adage, “what men can do, women can do and do better”, and urged female students to go all out in the pursuit of academic laurels.
In the midst of women empowerment initiatives across the world, she challenged females to take the bull by the horn and work hard to be counted in every sector they found themselves.
Though it appears to be a very tough space for the females, Ms Thompson said, they could turn the narrative in their favour with hard work and determination.
In her address, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoo Tawiah Sackey, challenged the graduands to use the knowledge they acquired to transform society.
She said, in the midst of the current digital revolution, students must use technology to add value to themselves and the sectors they would find themselves.
“Students need to learn how to be imaginative, creative, adaptable, and flexible to develop brain plasticity,” she stated.
She said the government would continue to expand technical and vocational opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels and further strengthen the linkages between education and industry, as well as give opportunities to the youth to deploy their skills to employ themselves.
The guest speaker, Dr Violet Makuku, added that lecturers must prepare students to create jobs and not look for employment after school.
“We need to support our governments with employment creation by starting businesses after school,” she stressed.
She said, today’s world required both lecturers and students to be more creative, innovative, fast thinkers with some degree of flexibility, quick to adopt and adapt to prevailing circumstances.
Vice Chancellor ATU, Prof. Samuel Nii Odai, urged the students to remain strong and compete for a space in the job market, saying “Do not play the victim game and always blame your hard luck on others. Work hard, pursue your godly dreams and capture your place.”
In all 3,115 HND students graduated from three faculties: Applied Arts, Applied Sciences and Business.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE