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GIJ graduates second batch of Masters of Arts candidates

By Belinda Ayamgha, GNA

Accra, Aug. 20,
GNA – Professor Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary
Education, has expressed concern about the paucity of research data for
development planning in many African countries including Ghana.

He urged
graduates from the Ghana Institute of Journalism’s Graduate School to endeavour
to add value to the nation’s planning through their through research.

Prof Yankah said this
at the second graduation ceremony of the GIJ’s School of Graduate Studies and
Research (SOGSAR) in Accra on Saturday. 

“…where planning
in 20th century Africa was fed on empty data, here we come with tools that can
change the destiny of this country, the destiny of journalism and
communication,” he said, in reference to the graduates.

Prof Yankah said
African governments gave the sense of planning based on conjecture instead of
reliable data, with journalists having to reach out to sources outside for
information about their countries.

“It amounts to
going beyond yourself to get information about yourself,” he noted.

The event was
held under the theme: “The role of communication in bridging the gap between
academia and industry”.

Prof Yankah said the disconnect between
academia and industry was due to a lack of synergy between both parties.

To address this,
he said, there is the need for institutions to talk to each other, understand
each other, enter each other’s world and act with one accord.

Prof Yankah said
while there was unemployment at various levels, some employers were looking for
good calibre candidates and those that they will have to retrain.

He said that
graduate training should help address unemployment as it took students to
higher levels where they seek to impart the knowledge they have to younger
ones.

Professor
Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Tertiary
Education (NCTE) and stand-in chair of the GIJ Governing Council, which is yet
to be fully constituted, said government was in the process of constituting new
Governing councils for public tertiary education institutions.

“…it would not be
long before the Ghana Institute of Journalism has its own full-fledged
Governing Council in place,” he said.

Prof Salifu
commended the GIJ for its strides in finding a niche area in Communications and
also for its graduate and research programmes, but urged academic staff to
engage more in research as it was the bedrock of academic excellence.

He said the
graduate and research programmes provided a medium through which the university
could create new knowledge and innovations to address societal problems and to
demonstrate its relevance to the national economy.

Prof Salifu also
pledged the NCTE’s support for the University and advised faculty to use their
book and research allowances as intended.

“A national
research fund is also in the offing to provide the resources for competitive
research into key areas of national policy,” he said.

Dr Wilberforce
Dzisah, Rector of the GIJ, commended the second batch of graduates for their
patience and tolerance in enduring the ‘pain and agony of waiting all this
while to be graduated’.

He said the GIJ’s
graduate programmes have gained popularity and influence, with the number of applicants
admitted increasing from 135 in 2015 when the programme started, to 243
students expected to start in September 2017.

“The rapid growth
is matched by the quality of faculty available…95 percent of those engaged at
the postgraduate level have terminal degrees (Ph.D),” he said.

GNA

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