The Premier News
The gap between males and females in Technical Education is closing up rapidly and the outcome of the second session of this year’s Accra Technical University’s 21st Congregation is a case in point of that fact. The narrative of breaking the bias against women in male-dominated fields was fully realised in a picture-perfect ceremony on Saturday, 23rd April 2022 at the University’s forecourt. In total 3,109 graduands were presented at the occasion.
A crowning moment for young Abena Bondziwa, the Valedictorian and a bevy of ladies who have performed remarkably to top their class was the spectacle every eye yearned to catch a glimpse.
Ms, Abena Bodziwa Bonney enrolled at the University from Achimota School as a Science student with 7 ‘As’ and a ‘B’ to read HND Electrical and Electronic Engineering. She graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.56. Abena Esoun Bonney, her twin sister also graduated with a CGPA of 4.35 as the best student from the Hotel Catering and Institutional Management and the Faculty of Applied Arts. Others include Mavis Essandor, who was the best graduating student in the Civil Engineering Department, and Vanessa Aben Aikins, the best graduating student in the Building Technology Department. A total number of 20 female best graduating students were recorded in this year’s congregation.
In the light of the gradual embrace of technical and vocational training, and the significant achievements of these female graduates especially in the STEM programmes, the Congregation Speaker entreated the University to continue in the path of TVET education.
The Congregation Speaker, Professor Abednego Amartey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra said that Accra Technical University may have attained the status of a fully-fledged University but the mandate of Technical Universities is a horse of a different colour as compared to the Traditional Universities. He mentioned that the core mandate of traditional Universities is to produce graduates with a universal skill set to deal with the needs of industry. However, that of Technical Universities is pure practical research to deal with specific technical skills.
He urged Technical Universities not to derail this mandate by becoming like traditional Universities with similar programmes, instead, they should develop curricula that will meet the current demand of the job market. He said that Technical Universities are the beacon of hope amidst the current unemployment that has plagued the country and advocated the deepening of the incorporation of entrepreneurial skills into Technical Universities’ curricula to give students the knack for creating avenues for self-employment right from the scratch.
“Technical Universities could bring quality practical business models and tools closer to students as young professional entrepreneurs. They could imbibe in graduates the sense of business ownership and the culture of entrepreneurship and self-reliance” He added.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education revealed that Technical Education is of colossal interest to the government hence, the continued investment to ensure its success. He stressed the role of TVET in the development of every country and mentioned that the government has pledged its support to make it equally accessible to all and sundry.
Professor Samuel Nii Odai, Vice-Chancellor of the University, revealed the University’s plans to increase students’ experience through the launch of the ATU Enhancing Students Experience Fund (AESEF) which will pay fees for brilliant but needy students, support women in STEM programmes and rent hostel accommodation for needy students. He admonished graduands to be worthy ambassadors of the University and continue to explore avenues for self-advancement.