It gives me great pleasure to be the Guest Speaker at this august occasion of the 14th Congregation of the Methodist University College Ghana (MUCG). I greatly cherish the hand of friendship MUCG has extended to me in recent times, according me the opportunity to speak at two of its very important occasions within six months.
In August 2016, MUCG had its first ever International Conference on Education Development and Innovation (INCEDI); and I was the Keynote Speaker. Six months on today, I am here as the Guest Speaker at this august Congregation.
Presiding Bishop, Invited Guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I read through MUCG’s mission, motto as well as aims and objectives. There are four items that strike me most in the aims and objectives.
The first is to ‘provide facilities for learning, and to give instruction and training in such branches of knowledge as the University College may desire to foster, and in doing so, to enable students to obtain the advantage of liberal education, bearing in mind the manpower needs of the country’.
I strongly share in this aim of MUCG as I believe that tertiary education in Ghana should have a strong linkage with the manpower needs of the country. The dynamics of our manpower needs since independence are indicative of the facts that Ghana today needs a new breed of graduates to man its economy.
The second item that touched my heart in the aims and objectives of MUCG is ‘to promote by research and other means, the advancement of knowledge and its practical application to social, cultural, economic, scientific and technological problems’. The crux of the matter here is practical application of knowledge to the solution of scientific and technological problems. Science and technology have far advanced. Countries have moved from the mere industrial technology age and are cruising in the age of Information and Communication Technology. I believe technology is the hinge that will give our nation that impetus to leverage growth and development.
The third item is to ‘develop students’ ability to think critically and to develop the highest ethical and human values and excellent aesthetic taste’. Critical thinking is very crucial for the ability of a graduate to fit into today’s rapidly changing economy and competitive job market. Critical thinking demands that you do not accept things on the face-value. It demands that you think outside the box and find alternative means of circumventing complicated systems and circumstances and coming out with your own result that provide the required answers to societal problems. To do this, you may sometimes need to challenge the status quo; you must dare to be different.
The fourth item is to ‘provide students with the best academic, professional and practical training including the development of the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation’. The development of the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation has become key to the success of any individual, corporate entity or nation in today’s world. Acquisition of academic laurels prepare the
ground for the exploration of many avenues of success in life but it is the development of entrepreneurship mindset and innovation that serve as the launching-pad to propel you to the relevant levels for the achievement of your full potentials.
Entrepreneurial mindset is the detonator that triggered off the explosion of technological development in the developed countries we have today. Entrepreneurship is all about creativity and innovation; the ability to think and create something out of nothing. When a university produces graduates and releases them into the job market and society says there is nothing for them, a graduate with entrepreneurial mindset should be able to create something, out of that nothing, for himself and even go further to provide job for his colleagues.
Society places high value on creativity and innovation so it is ready to pay for products that are the resultof your creativity and innovation. The entrepreneurial mindset sees every problem as a prospect and obstacle as an opportunity to create or innovate something that will provide a solution for his society. I am glad to hear that MUCG first established a Centre for Entrepreneurship Education Research and Training (CEERT) here and has even converted it to an Institute of Entrepreneurship Education (IEE) now.
The Methodist University College Ghana must be commended for the impact it has made in Entrepreneurship Education Research and Training. I learnt MUCG in conjunction with the Handong Global University from the Republic of South Korea with sponsorship from the UNESCO-Uni-Twin Programme have been able to organize Global Entrepreneurship Training (GET) programmes in Wenchi and Accra for students, the working class, Business Executives and politicians; with good participation from the West African Sub-Region.
MUCG’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Education Research and Training (CEERT) organized Entrepreneurship Clinics for Senior High School students in Accra, Sunyani and Aburi. CEERT also organized seminars, public lectures and the first ever International Conference on Education Development and Innovation. The CEERT which is now re-structured into the Institute of Entrepreneurship Education (IEE) is preparing to hold an International Conference on Entrepreneurship Business and Technology (ICEBUT) in March, 2017. I would like as many of us present here today, especially the graduands to register and attend.
The Institute of Entrepreneurship Education is running programmes and courses that are intended to equip students with entrepreneurial skills and instill entrepreneurial mindset in them. I would like to encourage as many MUCG graduates as possible to come back and enroll for these programmes at the post-graduate and other levels, so as to build in themselves the capacity to be masters of their own destiny in today’s choked job market.
Finally, I want to congratulate all the graduands on this special day of yours, as we are all gathered here to celebrate with you, a very important academic landmark and achievement in your lives. I urge you to continue to explore all avenues that will keep you rising higher and higher; be it in academic pursuits or your career. Aspire higher and remember that the best guide on your way to reaching the noblest of aims is the MUCG motto: Excellence Morality Service.
Thank you and
God bless you all.