The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) on Friday held its maiden postgraduate congregation, during which 80 students graduated with Master of Arts in various disciplines such as Journalism, Public Relations, Media Management and Development Communications. Of the total number, males constituted 43 and females 37; the breakdown of the list include Master of Arts Journalism – eight, Media Management 15, Public Relations – 27 and Development Communications 30.
The GIJ School of Graduate Studies and Research was established on February 12, 2014 and the first batch of the graduate students were officially admitted to their programmes of study in October 2014.
Dr Wilberforce S. Dzisah, the Rector of the GIJ, in his report to the congregation, paid tribute to the former Rector and his Vice-Rector, Messrs David Augustus Newton and Kudjo Anthony Batse for being the main pillars behind the development of the programmes and the processes leading to their approval. “Equally worthy of mention are Messrs Ebo Afful, Jonas Kwadwo Anson Boateng, Yaw Odame Gyau, Matthias Dugu, Awudu Sumaila, Mrs Mavis Essandoh and Dr Wilberforce S. Dzisah.
“Special commendation goes to Mr A. B. A. Fuseine of the former Governing Council and the present one chaired by Mr Berifi Apenteng for their the tremendous support and encouragement which had made it possible for GIJ to join the league of universities offering postgraduate programmes.
The maiden congregation was on the theme: “Graduate Training in Communication: Key to National Development”. Dr Dzisah said the theme for the graduation takes inspiration from the collective will of these patriots whose ultimate goal was to provide graduate training in communication to promote national development.
He said the catalyst behind the introduction of the four specialized programmes in communication and media at the masters’ level had been the need to fill an intellectual and professional gap identified in Ghana’s educational and national development.
He said the GIJ has trained a dedicated corps of journalists and public relations professionals for the media and communication industry. “As we continue to review and critically assess our curriculum and its impact on national development, it dawned on us that there is a gap to be filled in order to address the inherent weaknesses in media and communications as well as a useful corollary in national development,” the Rector said.
Dr Dzisah said GIJ’s programmes fitted into the national development agenda of the nation as enshrined in the 1992 Republican Constitution.
He said an added impetus of training graduates in communication for national development was to imbue in them the tenets of transparency and accountability. “What this means is that with a well-educated, skilled and informed citizenry, national transformation will be brought to speed for enormous wealth creation and high productivity to raise living standards,” he added.
He said the Institute was determined to expand and introduce additional programmes and ultimately launch a foray into doctorate programmes in communication and related fields. Mr Berifi Apenteng, the Chairman of the GIJ Governing Council, said the Institute had devoted a lot of resources for the development of staff to ensure quality teaching and learning.
Mr Julius Debrah, the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, in speech read on his behalf, lauded the Institute’s management for the tremendous efforts in putting up magnificent infrastructures through their internally generated funds.
He said government would give the GIJ the needed support to ensure that adequate infrastructures were provided at the new site at Dzorwulu, Accra, to facilitate smooth teaching and learning.
Among the gradraunds were Mrs Francesca Audrey Dekalu, a senior journalist with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Etsey David Agbenu, the Editor of the Ghanaian Times and Mr Kodjo Gabriel Ahiabor, a journalist at the Daily Graphic. Mr Prosper Tom Quarshie of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre was adjudged the overall best student with distinction.