Students who pursued various masters’ programmes at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) have petitioned government over their inability to graduate due to absence of a governing council for the institute.
According to sources close to the situation, government has been “lethargic” with the inauguration of the council and it points to a growing trend that is fast gaining root in the country, particularly in the education sector whenever there is a change of government.
The cumulative effect of the absence of the council, is that over 800 students will have to sit home until such a time when an action is taken by the government, bemoaned the petitioned addressed to the Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare.
It was also copied to the Executive Secretary to the President Akufo-Addo, Nana Asante Bediato, Minister of state in charge of tertiary education and the Education Minister among other institutions.
The government’s inability to constitute a council for the institute, the petitioners said is negatively affecting them and also representing “a harbinger of danger since the country is struggling to wean itself from the nightmare of graduate joblessness.”
They are therefore calling on the president to immediately take a strong action to ensure that the council of the institute is inaugurated to pave the way for their graduation.
The graduation ceremony which was supposed to be held in February was suspended indefinitely due to the absence of the council.
Below is the full petition
PETITION ON THE ABSENCE OF STANDING COUNCIL FOR GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM (GIJ)
WE the undersigned persons write to your office, being mindful of our rights as encapsulated in the 1992 Constitution that we ‘The People’ adopted to govern ourselves.
Article 25 (1) of the Constitution states that;
‘All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realization of that right –
Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education.”
WE believe the enjoyment of our rights in the Article quoted above have been negatively affected within the last six months when His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took the oath to uphold the very Constitution of the country.
The desire of every student in Ghana, is to graduate successfully after s/he is through with his academic work. However, this has not been the case for many students at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) since the start of 2017.
Students who pursued various Masters’ programmes in the school are in dilemma as their graduation, which was to take place in February was postponed indefinitely because of the absence of a Council.
The cumulative effect of the issue is that, over 800 students will have to sit home until such a time when an action is taken by the government. This represents a harbinger of danger since the country is struggling to wean itself from the nightmare of graduate joblessness.
Information from the school indicates government has been lethargic with the inauguration of the Council. The school is awaiting the list of government’s appointees to have the Council inaugurated but this has not been done for the past months.
Page 104 of the 2016 Manifesto of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) said it will;
“Work with Universities to raise their standards to the ranks of the best among their peers in Africa and beyond to ensure not only that their products are equipped with all the skills needed to build the national economy, but also are able and motivated to take on the challenge and the opportunities for higher achievement in the science and technology-led knowledge-driven global economy through innovation and creativity.”
WE believe the problem students of GIJ have been plunged into by the government contradicts what it promised Ghanaians in 2016.
WE recognize the many efforts of the President Akufo-Addo government in other sectors of the economy but this must not be done to the detriment of the education of Ghanaians.
WE therefore appeal to you to take strong action to ensure that the Council of the institution is inaugurated to allow students who have sat home for close to six months to have access to their various certificates.
WE hope that you will consider this as a priority issue in your action plans and policies, and would welcome further discussion with you on it.