Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has urged graduands of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) to use their intellect and knowledge to address society’s problems and finding solutions that would benefit every citizen.
He said good society required a generation of citizens looking for opportunities to lift up the weak and opening doors wider for the less privileged.
He cited some bureaucratic bottlenecks, bribery and corruption and lack of accountability and transparency as some challenges bedeviling the public sector, saying; “The public sector is made up of demons and principalities and you have to fight it and we need to fight and win”.
Dr Bawumia, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the First Session and 13th Congregation of the UPSA, in Accra on Saturday, urged the graduands to respect their fellow citizens and desire to brighten the corner where they find themselves.
“Mother Ghana needs you– your intellect, your knowledge, your discipline and your dedication to work.
“To the graduating Class of 2021, I am proud of you and I know you will make a difference,” the Vice President added.
The occasion was also used to confer an Honorary Doctorate Degree on the Minister of Energy and former Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, for his remarkable and exemplary leadership and promoting quality education through the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy.
In all, the University graduated 870 students from the School of Graduate Studies and the Law Faculty.
They comprised 764 students from the School of Graduate Studies and 106 from the Law Faculty.
There were 55 students of Master of Philosophy, 591 Master of Business Administration, 107 Master of Art and 11 Master in Insurance Risk Management.
The current student population stood at 18,074 comprising 1,687 post-graduates, 13, 434 undergraduates, 2,793 and diploma students and now runs 30 programmes while seven new programmes are at different stages of accreditation.
The Vice-President lauded the UPSA for living up to its responsibility of training and educating professionals who were serving in various capacities and institutions as they contribute their quota to national development.
He said education still remained the heartbeat of President Akufo-Addo’s government and was passionate and committed towards producing citizens who were productive, problem solvers and innovators and had the nation at heart.
Dr Bawumia made reference to the various technological and digital interventions rolled out by the government to enhance the delivery of social services.
He mentioned the Digital Property and Addressing System, unique identity cards (Ghana-Card), Mobile Money Interoperability Payment System, Paperless Port System and introduction of a digital portal (Ghana.Gov) for collection of revenue and payment of government services as some of the measures to ensure financial inclusion and promote accountability and transparency in the public sector.
Government digitisation agenda, he said, had helped in increasing the number of adults with mobile money accounts from 30 to 70 percent and witnessed US$100 billion or GHc592 billion transactions last year.
More so, the tax identification through tax identification numbers had increased from four per cent to 86 percent as at June, this year.
“Digitisation is a catalyst for reaching every youth with quality education and we are determined not to leave anyone behind,” he assured.
He cited the provision of free wifi in some 772 public second cycle educational institutions and 13 public universities as well as connecting internet to some education offices as some measures undertaken by the government to enhancing teaching and learning and research in schools.
The Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Prof. Abednego F.O Amartey, in his 2020/2021 Academic Year report to the congregation, outlined some key achievements the University chalked during the year under review.
He mentioned the enrolment of 20, 247 new students at the beginning of 2020/2021 Academic Year, commissioning of the main auditorium, new Astroturf, construction of new student hostels and two-storey multipurpose twin towers to serve as lecture halls.
The Vice-Chancellor indicated that the University leveraged on technology and online applications for on and off campus teaching and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic and would continue using it going forward.