Universities must reposition for national character development training – Prof Oduro

Professor George K.T Oduro, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has tasked universities to imbibe in the youth a national character mindset for the country’s next generation of leaders to be patriotic.

This, he said, has become necessary because recent experiences of political polarisation was permeating every sector of the society and has virtually sunk the national character of the country.

Prof Oduro has consequently proposed the introduction of a “Leadership for national character” course which should be a liberal course in the universities to build the leadership capacity of the nation.

Delivering his inaugural lecture on the topic: ‘Repositioning universities for national character development: Does leadership and mindset education matter?’, Prof Oduro said a national character is the pivot around which sustained national development thrived.

He said a national character was indispensable in the sustenance of Ghana’s development agenda and universities have a key role to play in reversing the polarisation trend in the country.

“Let uphold the national unity values in our constitution and patriotic songs that define our national character. Universities will fail as a hub of knowledge generation and application if they fail to place national character at the core of what students learn at the lecture theatres,” Prof Oduro said.

He said the universities through their primary functions of teaching, researching and extension services, were expected to prepare students for leadership positions necessary for accelerating national development.

“Universities should not only develop the intellect of the youth, they should cultivate national character in their programmes,” Prof Oduro said.

“Universities must use the lecture theatres to help students develop a mindset that will place Ghana first and make them appreciate that our tribal, ethnic, religious and political orientations should not divide us,” he added.

The professor of Educational Leadership said universities should be blamed for the national character challenges facing the country adding that “the universities have not tried to develop a national orientation for the people who go through the university system”.

Prof Oduro said politicians must allow the university decision making structures and procedures to operate if they are to succeed in developing a national mind – set character for the country.

He said people with extreme partisan and divisive orientations should not be appointed chairman of university governing councils.

Prof Oduro cautioned the universities to avoid using their lecture theatres for politics to promote partisan ideologies, saying lecture theatres should promote critical minds and accommodate dissenting opinions.

GNA

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