By Prince Acquah, GNA
Cape Coast, March 04, GNA – The University of Cape Coast (UCC) Council has reiterated calls on government and traditional authorities to help the school construct a wall around portions of its lands to ward off further encroachment.
Prof Obeng Mireku, Chairman of Council, said the unbridled activities of encroachers had become “a huge menace” for further expansion works at the university.
In 2019, the university found out that 24.4 per cent of its 3,690.24-acre land had been illegally occupied.
In January this year, council members as part of a three-day meeting to deal with the illegal occupation, embarked on a tour of the school’s boundaries with host communities and found an aggravated situation.
Speaking at the sixth session of the university’s 54th congregation, Prof Mireku indicated that the fence walls, when raised with support from government and the traditional leaders, would help halt the onslaught.
The session on Saturday graduated a total of 15,142 students from colleges of education affiliated to the Institute of Education of the College of Education Studies, UCC who completed in the 2021/2022 academic year.
The delightful ceremony saw 493 students obtaining first class, 5,846 with second class upper, 5,763 with second class lower, 2,452 with third class and 288 with pass.
Some 23 graduands who excelled in their respective fields were honoured and given prizes including laptops, cash, and plaques.
Prof. Mireku, highlighting other challenges of the school, said the university had been constrained in certain areas of development as a result of inadequate funding and necessary resources.
“Funding is key to the growth and development of the educational enterprise,” he noted, adding that universities considered a major priority, were central to the development of every prosperous and competitive knowledge-based economy.
“Wealth is concentrated less on factories, land, tools, and machinery. Indeed, wealth is found in the knowledge, skills, and resourcefulness of people,” he stressed.
“That is why all our efforts during our 60 years of existence have been geared towards fulfilling this role,” Prof. Mireku revealed.
In spite of the challenges, the Council Chairman said UCC continued to grow in infrastructure and engagement with major stakeholders to create the environment necessary for the accomplishment of its mandate.
While congratulating the graduands on their achievements, Prof. Mireku advised that their success depended on how they utilised their knowledge to the benefit of their respective communities.
“I can assure you that success will crown your endeavours in life if you bring discipline in all its forms to bare on whatever you do,” he admonished.
Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, the Vice Chancellor of the University, in his address, commended the Institute of Education for its mentorship role and all stakeholders involved in the training of teachers.
Beyond the mentorship, he noted that the Institute continued to organise workshops, seminars and training programmes for management and staff of the affiliated colleges in good governance, administration, finance, security on campus and academic research.
“UCC is mentoring all the colleges of education in addition to its affiliated colleges until the first cohort of students in the Bachelor of Education programmes complete their programmes of study,” he stated.
Prof. Boampong said the Institute of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Trade Union Congress, was also running special programmes for non-professional teachers in private schools under the Ghana Cares programme.
He commended the graduands for choosing the “noble” teaching profession and urged them to practice with dedication to reap the benefits.
“Nowadays, our pay is here on earth and not in heaven,” he said jovially amid applause and laughter from the congregation.