Professor Domwini Dabire Kuupole, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) service to create avenues for teachers to constantly upgrade themselves.
He said the professional knowledge and skills of teachers were the most important tools required for enhancing quality education and that teachers must have the freedom to pursue further studies in programmes of their choices and not only in Education.
Prof. Kuupole, who made the appeal at the Sixth and Seventh Sessions of the 48th Congregation of the UCC, said the GES must revisit its policy of teachers having to wait for three to four years before they could further upgrade themselves.
He said the country needed teachers with diverse knowledge in all sectors of the economy to contribute to its development, and therefore, they must not be restricted if they wish to pursue further studies to upgrade themselves.
A total of 2,943 students who pursued various programmes of study through distance learning for the 2014/15 Academic Year were awarded Degrees and Diplomas in Basic Education, Early Childhood, Psychology and Foundational Studies.
Prof. Kuupole said the UCC remained focused on expanding access to tertiary education with comfort to qualified people who would not have had the opportunity due to the demands of work, long distances, financial constraints and other related problems.
In view of this, he said, 73 new study centres had been opened throughout the country to cater for its large and increasing students and added that the University was making strides in addressing the academic needs of students, who wished to pursue post-graduate programmes.
He said plans were far advanced to open additional distance learning centres for Post-Graduate Studies centres in Bolgatanga, Sunyani and Takoradi.
He said as a result of the positive impact of the College of Distance Education (CoDE) programme, there had been many request from universities within the West Africa Sub-Region seeking collaboration to run UCC programmes by distance on their campuses.
Prof. Kuupole urged the graduates not to be content with the Degrees and diploma certificates they had acquired but strive to higher heights on the academic ladder; and use the knowledge and skills they had acquired to contribute to nation building.
Nana Sam Brew Butler, the Chairman of the UCC Council, challenged the graduates to bring to bear the knowledge they had acquired through innovations and critical thinking to help solve critical issues for the advancement of the economy.
He expressed worry about the quality of education being delivered in the country and urged the teachers to be patriotic and professional in the discharge of their duties to rescue the falling educational standards.
He told the graduands to be mindful of their utterances, shun acts that had the potential of causing violence and chaos to ensure that the November General Election were conducted peacefully.
In his Valedictory Address, the overall best graduand, Mr. Roland Zukuzia, admonished his colleagues to exhibit a high sense of excellence and quality in all their endeavours to make an impact in their respective areas.