THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has given the assurance that the promise made by President J.E.A. Mills to establish a University of Natural Resources in the region is on course.
According to him, the land acquisition process for the establishment of the university had started and the Committee of Resource Persons tasked by President Mills to put together a report to facilitate the eventual initiation of the project had started work in earnest.
President Mills, who was then the presidential candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), made the promise during the 2008 electioneering and reiterated it at a grand durbar of the chiefs and people of Brong Ahafo to climax the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the region at the Jubilee park last year.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave the assurance at the fourth congregation and the 10th matriculation ceremony of the Catholic University College of Ghana at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District in the Brong Ahafo Region at the weekend.
The congregation saw 145 students graduating with Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Business Administration with options in Economics, Accounting and Management, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies.
Three hundred and twelve students were officially admitted out of which 308 would pursue various undergraduate programmes and four for postgraduate programmes.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated that the government had also put in place measures to provide massive and modern infrastructure at all levels of education to create the needed congenial environment for teaching and learning in the country.
This, he said, was a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to sustain the improvement and transformation of the educational sector.
Mr Nyamekey-Marfo noted that the Government had also introduced a number of policies, which included the supply of free uniforms for pupils in basic schools, increased responsibility allowances for head teachers, supply of free exercise books to pupils and the payment of 20 per cent of basic salary as allowance to teachers who accepted postings to rural areas.
He stated further that the recent review of the duration of the senior high school (SHS) programme from four to three years was very important in the sense that the merits far outweighed the demerits.
The minister said the ability of the graduates to provide contemporary solutions to the ever-emerging challenges would testify to the outside world, the premium to be placed on the institution and the type of niche the institution had succeeded in carving for itself and expressed the hope that the graduates would be worthy ambassadors of the university.
The Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony, commended all for their immense support which had brought the university this far and said all efforts were being made for the university to obtain its Charter soon.
He urged the graduates who were now venturing into the world to apply the knowledge that they had acquired from the university to help transform society by solving the problems faced by the society and the nation as whole.
Professor James H. Ephraim, the Vice-chancellor of the University, said the university also offered a Masters Degree programme in Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and to ensure quality at the postgraduate level, a School of Research and Graduate Studies had been proposed awaiting the approval of the Board of Trustees for its commercement.