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4-year SHS students better than 3-year counterparts – Prof Yankah

By: Graphic Online

Professor Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State-designate in charge of Tertiary Education

The Minister of State-designate in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, has defended the four-year Senior High School curriculum saying that students who went through that system performed better than their counterparts who went through the three year course system.

He, however, proposed a window to be opened for well-endowed schools that could complete the three year system with the hope of posting good performance without restrictions.

Prof Yankah shared his views on the matter when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday.

Answering questions on a wide range of issues, he described the complaints that private universities were much more expensive that public ones as a myth noting that the gap between public and private universities was narrowing.

Prof. Yankah, who is currently the Vice-Chancellor of the Central University College, spoke about the fact that many universities had evolved leaving their core mandate behind.

He submitted that tertiary institutions had moved away from their original courses and programmes and cited the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science programmes and Technology (KNUST) as one such institution running many non-science programmes that did not encourage the younger universities to cut a niche for their own programmes.

Culture of reading

Touching on the need to improve reading culture of reading among school children, Prof Yankah underscored the need for parents to read to their children to sleep to imbibe in them a good reading culture.

According to the university don, two per cent of primary school children could hardly read and write English and any other Ghanaian language and called for enough reading text books to be supplied to schools, especially the deprived ones to help change the situation.

He touched on the need to take a second look at the manner internship programmes for students were done and asked students to move away from the stereotype of the fixation of doing their internship at the prestigious companies.

GETFund support

Prof. Yankah called for equity in terms of disbursing funds from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for both private and public tertiary institutions Equity for tertiary institutions.

“We don’t need to delude ourselves that GETfund is for public universities but for all private and public institutions to benefit.  We ought to fight to clearly understand the GETFund law for people to understand,” he added.

Asked whether he supported the compulsory retirement of 60 years involving teachers and lecturers who still had the drive to impact knowledge, Prof Yankah indicated that there was a youth bulge out there who needed to be mentored to take up the mantle of leadership after retirement.

He said retired lecturers could still take up positions at the private tertiary institutions and lecture.

When asked how he was going to manage the teacher unions, Prof Yankah said he would bring his negotiations skills to bear on the job to win their support and cooperation.



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