President Nana Akufo-Addo says the decision by the Governing Council of the Ho Technical University to rename the institution after the great Ghanaian cultural icon, Dr. Ephraim Amu, is an excellent one, which has received his blessings.
According to President Akufo-Addo, once the parliamentary process has been completed, the University will, thereafter, be called the Ephraim Amu Technical University, Ho.
“It is wholly fitting that this great, modest man, composer of what easily passes for our unofficial national anthem, Yen Ara Asase Ne , should be properly honoured by a grateful posterity, and, especially, by citizens of his native Volta Region,” the President said.
He said this on Saturday when he delivered a speech at the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Ho Technical University at Ho.
In February this year, the Governing Council of the University, in a letter to the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, stated, amongst others, that “Dr. Ephraim Amu’s contributions to society and national development have been acknowledged and acclaimed worldwide.”
As such the “Council is happy to recommend to Government that Dr. Ephraim Amu’s name be adopted for Ho Technical University.”
In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo noted that the late Dr. Ephraim Amu “taught us that we do not have to wear a European-cut suit to be a scholar, we could wear a fugu, kente and above all, a locally woven fabric, and still be an educated person.”
He indicated further that the renowned composer insisted that one did not have to eat foreign foods because he or she was a scholar, and he insisted that Ghanaian music was as interesting and sophisticated as any around the world.
“Those were radical ideas for the time. I am sure that you can appreciate what a special moment it will be for me to be the President who will have the privilege to assent to this decision. Long may we cherish his memory!” the President added.
Gov’t committed to TVET
Speaking on the theme of the of the celebration, “Consolidating the Gains of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Ghana; HTU @ 50”, the President noted that those countries, like Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, with whom Ghana started the independence journey, have outstripped her by far, in terms of development.
He noted that these countries made the fundamental decision to transform their economies from raw material, low productivity, agrarian economies, to value-added, industrial economies, adding that it is the same transformation that Ghana must engineer.
“This is the reason why my Government has placed importance on guaranteeing access to a minimum of senior high school education for all children and has laid emphasis, in particular, on Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) as a major pillar for development,” he said.
Government’s strategy, he said, is to expand technical and vocational opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels, and, thereby, strengthen the linkages between education and industry, as well as empower young people to deploy their skills, to employ themselves and others.
To this end, government has aligned and brought all public TVET institutions in the country under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education.
He believes this will enable the Ministry to streamline their curricula and improve the coordination of their training, with the Deputy Minister for Education, Barbara Asher Ayisi, specifically responsible for technical and vocational education.
“The 5-year Strategic Plan for TVET, approved by Cabinet, has set out certain structural reforms, such as setting up a TVET Service and TVET Council, and dedicating a whole division of the education service to the management of technical and vocational education, with its own Director General,” he added.
The President noted, in added, that government is committed to constructing 20 modern TVET institutions across the country, as well as upgrading some 35 existing ones.
“Government is fully aware of the infrastructural needs of our Technical Universities. Efforts have been made at supplying demonstration laboratories for engineering students in some of the Technical Universities, including Ho Technical University, by Amatrol. The Ministry of Education is taking steps to providing similar laboratories to the rest of the Technical Universities,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo assured the University, and, indeed, all other Colleges of Education and Universities in the country, of Government’s commitment towards the implementation of policies that will enhance the capacity of graduates from the country’s tertiary institutions to contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic transformation.