Accra Technical University has held a maiden virtual congregation ceremony for the 2019/2020 batch of students.
The maiden ceremony was for 4,242 Bachelor of Technology (BTech) and Higher National Diploma (HND) graduands from the five faculties of the university – Faculties of Engineering, Applied Sciences, Built Environment, Applied Arts and Business.
The virtual congregation programme which was streamed on Facebook and YouTube in four sessions on Saturday, December 19, 2020, was necessitated by the prevailing national COVID-19 safety protocols safety guidelines for gatherings involving large numbers.
In all, the graduands comprised 386 BTech and 3,856 HND graduands.
The Chairman of the Governing Council, Professor Ralph Kingston Asabere, said although the graduands would have wished to converge on campus with friends and family, the event had to be redesigned in the wake of COVID-19 to safeguard the health of all stakeholders.
He applauded the Management of the University for deploying online platforms to ensure the continuity and successful completion of the 2019/2020 academic year despite the truncation of physical academic contact hours as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Asabere appealed to the Minister of Education to fund more computer laboratories to augment the university’s effort of improving both physical and information technology (IT) infrastructure to facilitate effective teaching and learning in the prevailing circumstances and beyond.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Samuel Nii Odai, congratulated the graduands for their dedication, resilience and steadfastness in completing the academic year in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor said the university was striving to ensure that the quality of its programmes is improved and maintained. He said, ‘‘the university has worked hard to ensure that all its 17 top-up BTech programmes are accredited. In addition the four-year Bachelor of Technology programme in Medical Laboratory has also gone through accreditation.’’ He further added that some 20 direct 4-year BTech programmes have been prepared and submitted to the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board for approval.
Furthermore, Professor Odai revealed that with the expected increase in enrollment due to the Free SHS student cohort, the university will be undertaking major infrastructural development such as the construction of a lecture theatre complex and the refurbishment of other structures on the Kinbu Campus to contain the sheer numbers. ‘‘The second campus of the university in Mpehuasem is getting ready to open up to academic work come January 2021,’’ he added.
He advised the graduands to hone their skills and not rely so much on their certificates.