Veep tasks varsities to produce critical thinkers

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has tasked universities across the country to turn out critical thinkers, to help improve the economy of Ghana. He noted that teaching and learning methods adopted by the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa, in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region, was aimed at producing quality engineers and entrepreneurs for national development.
The Vice President made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim-Fordjour, at the 13th Congregation of the UMaT, at Tarkwa, on Saturday. Dr Bawumia said 17 years of producing professional engineers to man the mining industry and other related areas was no mean achievement for an institution like UMaT.
He said the strategic plan of UMaT would make it to continue to turn out qualified engineers and entrepreneurs. Dr Bawumia said government was confident that UMaT would help train people in the mining responsible mining, to protect land or water bodies.
He advised the graduating students to strive hard and set up their own businesses to reduce unemployment in the country. The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof. Richard K. Amankwah, said the current student enrolment was 3,529 but the university hoped to increase enrolment to about 8,000 in the nearest future.
He said the university research programme had been aligned to the Sustainable Development goals, in response to the global call to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability. Prof. Amankwah said 684 students would graduate out of which three would receive Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 28 would be awarded with Master’s degree and 603 would be awarded with Bachelors of Science degrees.
He said a total of 126 students, representing 21 per cent, obtained First Class Honours, 61 per cent Second-Class Upper Division, 17 per cent Second-Class Lower Division and only one had a pass, adding “50 graduands will receive diplomas and certificates.” Prof. Amankwah said the UMaT needed financial support despite the fact that it has received support from government through the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) and the Ghana National Petroleum Commission.
He said that government had given clearance for the recruitment of 97 staff, to replace those who have retired and others who have passed on. Prof. Amankwah said the Emergency and Disaster Management Hub teamed up with Tarkwa-NsuaemMunicipality, Ghana Road Safety Authority, the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit, Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority, Ambulance Service, the Safety Departments of three mining companies, to organise a road safety programme on World Day of Health and Safety. He said 640 commercial drivers in the municipality and Prestea Huni Valley District were trained on road safety and certified.

FROM PETER GBAMBILA, TARKWA

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