Ghana to pursue affirmative action on universities

Government would stay the course of affirmative action on new public universities, Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education has said.

These are the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho and the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, with a third expected to take-off in the Eastern Region this year.

Mr Ablakwa said the Government’s policy to build public universities in each region was to ensure equity, solve the problem of access and proximity and encourage specialization as means of addressing poverty through education.

“We are confident of our policy decisions,” he said.

Mr Ablakwa, who is responsible for tertiary education, was interacting with senior management staff of (UHAS) in Ho on Monday.

He inspected infrastructure and facilities at the interim campus of the university at the Regional Hospital in Ho, the construction work underway at the permanent site at Sokode near Ho as well as infrastructure at the Hohoe campus.

Mr Ablakwa said the Education Ministry would collaborate with the relevant ministries towards consolidating the new universities.

On financial support to the new universities, Mr Ablakwa said last year was “difficult” but the outlook for this year “is positive.”

He said a number of policy initiatives such as the cancellation of allowances to students of Colleges of Education would free financial resources towards the consolidation of the new universities.

Mr Ablakwa commended the staff of UHAS for leaving their “comfort zones” in order to help build the new university.

He commended the authorities of the University for incorporating eight weeks of community service into its training to address the deficits in critically needed health services in communities across the region.

Mr Ablakwa said the UHAS had achieved tremendous growth within a very short time.

Professor Fred Binka, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said its two main pillars were community service and research.

He said the university had so far established five out of eight schools with a sixth school due this year.

Professor Binka said the university was happy at the results it had been getting from its community service approach in partnership with the district hospitals and municipal and district assemblies.

Professor Binka, who conducted Mr Ablakwa round the interim campus at the Volta Regional Hospital, said the infrastructure there was being developed to become the medical school.

A block for anatomy is being constructed. The infrastructure is fit for the medical school and they would not be a waste,” he said.

Professor Binka said the university was grappling with financial challenges which needed urgent attention. GNA

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