Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has called on the country’s tertiary institutions to provide practical training to students to enable them to fit into the job market.
He said lecturers must also spend time to educate students on policy formulation as part of their academic training.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the call at the inauguration of a multi-purpose building for the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, Legon. In July 2011 Vice President Amissah-Arthur, then the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, cut the sod for the commencement of the project.
The project, which was financed by the Bank, forms part of its corporate social responsibility. The new edifice has an auditorium with a seating-capacity of 1,000, a multipurpose foyer of 600 seating-capacity, eight seminar rooms, two 40-seater each computer laboratories, and a secretariat for the facility management and offices.
Besides, the new facility is the phase one among a number of projects to be undertaken to make the Department of Economics a Centre of Excellence. Vice President Amissah-Arthur commended the Bank of Ghana for the sacrifice it has made for investing in the project.
He said the bank could have used the resources generated in the sale of its assets and dividends earned on its investments among other things but chose to support the project. He said the project would also help contribute to the academic work of the university.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the Bank of Ghana, over the years, had been a great beneficiary of the human resource and research from the Department of Economics.
He, therefore, called for more support from the bank for the second phase of the project. Dr Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, commended his predecessors for conceiving the idea to construct the edifice.
He said the new Economics Department Block had additional facilities which was lacking in the old one such as providing great ambiance for academic work.
He said the modern facilities must not only improve the school’s physical environment but also its learning environment too. Dr Issahaku said the Bank of Ghana recognised the Department of Economics role as a major partner in the promotion of financial literacy which was necessary for achieving a sound monetary and financial policy support.
He said the current complex global economic challenges required an informed calibre of persons who would educate the public to understand those complex problems. He charged the university authorities to put in place measures to ensure appropriate maintenance culture to safeguard the new facility.
Professor Peter Quartey, Head of the Department of Economics, said the new facility would go a long way to enhance teaching and learning at the department. He said the new edifice would help the department reduce the cost it incurred in hiring facilities to organise programmes for both lecturers and students.