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The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), have called on the Ministry of Education to make entrepreneurship skills a compulsory course for all tertiary students; at least in their first and final years.
Mr Michael Paa-Quecy Adu, the President of NUGS, speaking at the opening of a two-day Education Conference, said it is important to add the course to the curriculum to better prepare students for the job market.
He noted that there is a gap between academia and industry to the extent that what students are taught in the classroom is not reflected in the job market when they graduate.
“A number of graduates apply for jobs and when they get the job, they are not able to deliver what the job market requires and industry players keep saying we don’t have the skills that they require. It means there is a gap somewhere,” he said.
Mr Adu said a strong link between academia and industry would help to create “graduate destination markets”, supported by sustainable funding models for higher education.
The Union also proposed that lecturers in higher education institutions be made to compulsorily undertake industrial attachments once every academic year in order to be abreast of developments in industry to aid in practical teaching and learning or industry players should be invited into the classroom to share their expertise and knowledge with students.
He also expressed the need to ensure that higher education does not become a privilege instead of a right due high costs by putting in appropriate funding models.
The conference, on the theme: “Graduate Destination Market & Building Sustainable Funding Models for Higher Education in Ghana,” would assess the roles of stakeholders in ensuring a stronger link between academia and industry as well as their roles in forming a collaborative and sustainable funding model for higher education.
Madam Claudia Jurbay, the Colombian Ambassador, commended NUGS for the initiative saying students must not just demand for what they need but also propose and create the change that they want.
She said it is important to look at the models that other countries such as South Korea and Canada practiced in the educational sector and to emulate what worked in those instances.
“You have the power to decide what you want to do,” she stated.
Mr Cephas Adjei-Mensah, Deputy Director, Tertiary Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education said theme is very appropriate and in line with the ministry’s efforts.
He said the ministry is currently having its National Education Sector Annual Review, which would, among other things, discuss how best to ensure sustainable funding of tertiary education.
He noted that entrepreneurship is high on the ministry’s agenda and has been incorporated into the Education Action Plan 2016-2030.
Mr Adjei-Mensah pledged the ministry’s interest in the outcomes and recommendations of the conference.
Request on entrepreneurship would be welcoming news to the ministry, making entrepreneurship a key point of the school curriculum.
The idea has been incorporated in the education Action plan draft 2016-2030.