Management of private and public universities have been advised to discuss ways of responding to the challenges posed by the reversal of the three-year Senior High School (SHS) programme to improve educational standards.

Prof. Nathaniel K. Pecku, Rector of the University College of Management Studies (UCOMS), who gave the advice expressed doubt about the capacity of the tertiary schools to handle the SHS graduates who would pass though the new system.

He stressed that it would require massive efforts to bring them up to the required standards to arrest the fallen standards of education.

Prof. Pecku was speaking at the weekend in Accra at the third matriculation ceremony of UCOMS where 407 students were admitted.

“The universities and other tertiary institutions have a problem. They have not yet responded to the initial four -year programme. Are they to revert to the previous three-year programme or do they sustain the four years which would extend the duration of university education?”

Prof. Pecku expressed doubt that the challenges that beleaguered the educational sector have been fully resolved for a smooth take off of the proposed three-year SHS programme, stressing that the issue needed proper discussion.

He said tertiary education should focus on running employment programmes aimed at organising regular training for the youth and students to set up their own businesses.

“The universities and other tertiary institutions, which educate the cream of the country’s youth, must ensure that their products are patriotic and self-reliant. They need to be imbued with the attitude of residing in Ghana to develop the country,” he said.

Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu, Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana, advised the students to be architects of their future by applying themselves to learning employable skills that would enable them survive and compete in the business world.

“Employers are looking out for job seekers who can add value to their enterprises,” she said, adding that the country could compete with other industrialised nations if it had the right future workforce with the right attitude and skills.

Mrs Safo-Duodo said “the present day graduate or job seeker must be equipped to effectively use time management as a tool to run an organisation and to solve challenges in the industrial world”.

She called on managements of private educational institutions to fashion out curriculum that would bring the best in the youth for national development.

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom to deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world,” she said.

She expressed the hope that government would give private institutions the support to add value to the country’s knowledge hub.

She reminded the matriculants of the dangers ahead that could sidetrack them, stressing that great men and leaders in the world had to deny themselves certain luxuries that had the potential to retard their academic pursuit.

“From… your mates, there are some who may see this as freedom to do what they had been restricted to do in the past. This may include staying deep into the night, drinking alcohol, using drugs and indecent dressing. These are recipe for disaster and those who indulge in them are those who attempt to pass examinations by cheating.”

Source: GNA