- Calls for tracking of perpetrators during unveiling of UMaT hostel
President John Dramani Mahama has expressed disappointment at the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the examination leaks that have characterized its examinations. He said he had instructed the BNI to team up with the examination body to track the sources of the leaks and bring the perpetrators to book. Speaking at the inauguration of a 540 bed students’ hostel complex at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa yesterday, he said it was unacceptable that after preparing adequately for their examinations, students would be confronted with examination leaks and suffer the accompanying inconveniences.
The hostel will augment the university’s capacity to accommodate more students on the campus. It was completed at a cost of GH¢12,898,186 with funding from the GETfund and the University. The new hostel will accommodate 24 percent of the total number of students and as a result increase the number of students currently being accommodated on the campus to 65 percent.
The state-of-the-art facility has 251 rooms, fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers, two porters’ lodge, two T/Junior Common Rooms, one conference room, an Office for the Dean of Students, an Office for the Bursar/Head Porter, Eight kitchen rooms, among other facilities.
President Mahama expressed concern over the fact that in spite of the promise to undertake reforms in the wake of last year’s massive leaks in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), WAEC had done nothing about the situation. He said it was time WAEC put its house in order to stop the perennial examination leaks. The President said although the government was not expected to interfere in the activities of WAEC, it would not sit down for lapses on the part of the examination body to ruin the future of Ghanaian students.
Turning his attention to the university, President Mahama said the focus of UMaT’s programmes of study fitted into his vision of changing lives and transforming Ghana. “You produce world-class professionals in mining technology and related fields,” he said, noting that such professionals were critical to national growth. He said the development informed the massive investment taking place in science and vocational training.
Cataloging the tremendous progress on the educational front, the President said it was no wonder that Ghana was becoming the hub of education in West Africa. Currently, more than 10,000 foreign students from about 60 countries are studying in Ghana.
He said the Students Loan Trust would continue to provide equitable support for students. Currently, he said, 318,607 students, including those in private schools, were accessing the loans.
The President commended the UMaT administration for the great work it was doing to drive the progress of the institution. He said the government had approved the establishment of a School of Petroleum Engineering at the University.
The Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, Prof J.S.Y Kuma, said the university was committed to pursuing its mandate as an engineering university where theoretical training and practical laboratory and field training were key to producing graduates of the finest quality. From 1952, UMaT has been an institution of learning. With the help of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, UMaT was transformed to focus on mining and related courses. In 2004, it became a fully fledged university by an Act of Parliament.
Prof. Kuma was grateful to the government for the continued support to the university. He said taking cognizance of the fact the minerals were non-renewable and their mining was accompanied by environmental challenges, UMaT had established an Environmental and safety Engineering Department to focus on environmental issues, especially in the mining sector.
A Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, dismissed suggestions in certain quarters that the standard of Ghana’s education was retrogressing. He argued that if it were so, students from all over the world would not be seeking admission to pursue courses in the country’s tertiary institutions every year. He said 84 percent of statutory funds were paid to the GETfund last year, adding that it was the first time such a huge amount of money was paid to the fund.
from Daily Graphic