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Presidential charter opens opportunities for GIJ
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Mr David Newton, Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), on Saturday said the Presidential Charter granting the Institute as a fully-fledged university, had important opportunities to create new faculties and adopt a wider cross disciplinary approach to curriculum development.

Mr Newton, who was addressing the 9th Matriculation of 312 students for the Degree and Diploma programmes, said the charter had opened the door wider for lecturers and students to explore new opportunities and meet other challenges.

The 312 students, representing 35 per cent of the total number of qualified applicants who applied for admission, have 122 pursuing Degree programmes while 190 are Diploma students.

124 are men and 188 are women.

Mr Newton called for the expansion of facilities to admit more students, adding that it should not be difficult for students majoring in Journalism or Public Relations to take some credit courses in information technology, languages, business management, entrepreneurial and leadership skills among others.

This approach would go a long way to broaden the knowledge base of students and make them competitive on the job market, he said.

"We are determined as a university to give the necessary exposure to lecturers and students through exchange programmes with both foreign and local universities.

"What this entails is the cross fertilization of ideas on a wide range of academic disciplines particularly the need to strengthen and entrench research into the university's activities," Mr Newton said.

He said such collaborative projects with foreign and local universities had the tendency to imbue in the students a higher sense of global focus in tackling research and development issues.

Mr Newton said as part of the immediate plans to increase the intake of students, the Institute shall introduce a sandwich programme, beginning next academic year, for the Top Up degree programme.

He said the sandwich program would be extended to cover the regular admission and provide opportunity to those whose nature of work did not allow them to enroll into the regular programmes.

He said management had been in constant touch with the GETFUND for the urgent release of funds to facilitate work on the new site.

Mr Newton said beyond the construction of the four storey classroom block complex, other facilities planned for the new site include accommodation for lecturers and hostel for students.

He urged the students to work hard to develop an analytical mind in such a competitive environment.

Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education, in a speech read for him, said the Ministry was committed to the development of tertiary education and has demonstrated its readiness to provide GIJ with the requisite tools to realize its full potential.

"What we need from you is the same level of cooperation and the initiation of innovative schemes with the aim to generating internal funds for other developmental activities," he said.

Mr Tettey-Enyo urged the matriculants not to swim in the glory of being the pioneers to receive GIJ's own degrees but to aspire to the horizon with the view to justifying the Charter.

Mr A.B.A Fuseini, an Editor of the Daily Graphic who chaired the function, commended the Government for the urgency with which the Charter was granted to the Institute.

He urged students to put in their best to enhance their delivery when they got into the public service.

Mr Enoch Gyan, a matriculant, on behalf of his colleagues, said the Institute needed more attention than it was being given.

He said essential facilities including computer laboratory, inadequate internet facility at the school's library and the lack of certain reference materials tended to make studies and research very difficult.
Source: GNA

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