UEW ready to admit more free SHS students

The auditorium of the University of Education Winneba (UEW) was filled with joy as Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni was inducted as Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university.

The induction was intended to restore order and normalcy, after the university was embroiled in long winding legal battles in recent times. It was also to assure the public that it was ready to admit more graduates that would pass through the Free SHS system.

In attendance was the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo; Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education; Kwamena Duncan, Central Regional Minister; Kennedy Agyapong, MP Assin Central; Afenyo Markin, MP Effutu constituency; Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer- Buckle, Archbishop, Cape Coast; Neenyi Ghartey, Paramount Chief, Effutu community; Vice-Chancellors from various institutions, Clergies, Chiefs, family members and friends of the new Vice–Chancellor.

Addressing the audience, Mr Afful-Broni indicated that he would pursue the mission of the University through innovation and selfless approach based on honesty, hard work and international standards.

He said that: “I am grateful for people believing in me and trusting that the moral values and principles which I carry and share, the philosophy and ideas which I espouse and the connections and networks which I have forged in my religious, academic and professional life and especially the kind of leadership I provided  in the last 14 months for the university, as well as the relevant provision of our university statues, were the grounds on which my appointment was founded and I won’t betray that trust”.

He stated that the trust would generate huge expectations because he would provide leadership that would meet the great expectations of thousands of their stakeholders and carry them to greater heights.

He said he would assemble the best team to initiate strategic mechanisms to meet the expectations of diverse stakeholders.

Mr Afful-Broni indicated that he would make evidence-base research and innovation central to the transformation process of the university.

“This is because research and knowledge production constitute the foundation of structural transformation of every society”, he observed.

According to him, the University is regarded as one of the teacher training universities in the world, therefore, their visibility to the global economy can only be founded on research and innovations.

“Henceforth, the university would train and recruit quality staff in emerging areas in education to undertake quality research to meet demands of the global market”.

He said he was aware that faculty and staff of the university have always dreamt of a leadership which would thoroughly dialogue, to be able to cater for the professional goals and aspirations of its people and to make the teaching and learning environment more conducive.

According to him, his regime would develop a pragmatic administrative system that would remove bottlenecks and ensure a better relationship between management, staff, students and all service providers.

He said the university is constructing eight pavilions, which would be able to accommodate 4,000 students who would graduate from the SHS and would need access to tertiary institutions. He said, this is to ensure that the numerous qualified students would get access to tertiary education.

Mr Afful-Broni said the schools current staff is 2,080 with teaching staff numbering 502, while the non teaching staff are 1,578.

He was hopeful that the government would grant them financial clearance to enable them employ more efficient staff to help deliver effectively.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was on a tour in the region, but had the honour to witness the induction ceremony thanked the University for putting measures in place to help absorb the first badge of the free SHS policy and charged them to create more avenues for the policy to gain solid grounds.

He said his opponents believe that infrastructure should be well developed before embarking on free education.

“But I disagree, because the book of Ecclesiastes indicates that if you wait until the weather and the winds are right before you act, you will never sow anything and never harvest anything” , he said.

He said his government cannot sit and look on, as Ghanaian students drop out of school because they cannot afford school fees and would do anything to ensure every qualified Ghanaian student get access to a secondary education.

Speaking about the new appointment, the President said he believes the VC would be capable of steering the affairs of the University in the next four years, for the school to attain higher height.

“I believe his vast experience from the church and the teaching profession makes him a suitable candidate to run the affairs of the school”.

He said the school has played a major part in the transformation of education in the country and churned out quality teachers and charged the VC to continue the legacy.

The President also used the opportunity to clear the misconception about the teacher licensing.

He said the policy, which was spearheaded by Mr Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, first Vice-Chancellor of the University, was not intended to put impediments in the way of teachers.

It is rather meant to enhance professionalism in teaching and guarantee that teachers meet the required and minimum standards to enable them teach well.

“If education is important to us, then it requires that we maintain the best standards,” he observed.

The government’s goal is to restore the teaching profession and ensure that it’s an attractive career choice.

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