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KNUST Students laud 'Campus Connect' initiative


Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have lauded the Government for initiating the Campus Connect Initiative.
This, they, said, is an innovative programme and a platform for students to engage government officials and share their problems, concerns and suggestions for immediate feedback.
In an interactive session to introduce the programme, the students raised concerns on issues of security on campus, the current power crisis and the increasing unemployment among graduates.
They appealed for the erection of a police post and an enhance security patrol system to ensure that students move around without the fear of being attacked.
They called on the Electricity Company of Ghana to put in place an arrangement to help students study sufficiently to be able to write their end-of-semester examination, in view of the current power rationing exercise.
The “Campus Connect” initiative was launched weeks ago in Tamale at the University for Development Studies and being championed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with student leaders and management of tertiary institutions, to strengthen relations between the government and the student bodies.
It is also seeks to stimulate intellectual discussions on governance in the higher institutions of learning and to enable the government to receive feedback from students on the impact of its policies and programmes on them.
It brings together government appointees and agencies under the Ministry of Education to account and explain to students their various interventions to improve the lives of the citizenry.
In his welcome address, Professor William Otoo Ellis, Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, urged the students to be circumspect in what they say and contribute meaningfully to the programme.
He said one of the greatest things of concern to the university is the embargo placed on employment, which has impacted negatively on the country’s economy and has increased graduate unemployment.
Addressing the students, a Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of Tertiary, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa noted that feedback of the programme was the cardinal principle of good governance, expected to be achieved.
He said the initiative is non-partisan and expressed the hope that it would address the challenges students face on their campus.
Mr Ablakwa said the initiative formed part of President John Dramani Mahama’s pledge to promote accountable and transparent governance.
Mr John Osei Kofi, Deputy Chief of Staff, noted that the initiative is to afford the government an opportunity to take stock of its activities in its effort to bring governance to the doorsteps of students.
He said the initiative demonstrates the importance government attaches to students and asked them to table their issues and challenges confronting them for redress.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Fiifi Fiave Kwetey, said students should not expect the government to provide employment for them after school, explaining that what governments everywhere do is to create the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
He challenged the youth to turn their challenges into opportunities for the country to develop.
The Minister of Health Designate, Mr Alex Segbefia, noted that Ghana is a victim of its success.
Mr Felix Ofosu Kwakye, a Deputy Minister of Communication said the initiative forms part of President John Dramani Mahama’s pledge to promote accountable and transparent governance.
He urged the students to take advantage of the initiative to engage government officials on issues that have impact on them and expressed appreciation to stakeholders who in diverse ways are contributing to complement government efforts in the provision of quality education.
“You are partners to this initiative, therefore, we expect that you will table your issues appropriately for redress in our collective responsibility to document the challenges confronting you and finding lasting solutions to them,” the Deputy Chief of Staff told the students.
Mrs Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister Finance said Government last year came out with the Senchi Consensus to formulate policies to fix Ghana’s economic problems.
She expressed the hope that the funds from the International Monetary Fund would bail and transform the country’s economy to reduce Ghana dependency on export, spending and borrowing.
Mrs. Joyce Bawa Mogtari, Deputy Minister of Transport said there are a number of employment opportunities in the transport, aviation and maritime sectors that students could take advantage of.
The other dignitaries represented by their agencies were the Mrs Sheila Naa Boamah, Chief Executive Officer of the Students Loan Trust Fund, Dr Michael Kpessa White, Executive Director , National Service Scheme, Mr Kobby Acheampong, Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency, Mr Richard Adjei, Deputy Executive Director, National Accreditation Board and Dr Newman, National Council for Tertiary Education.
Source: GNA

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