Move away from extreme politicization of our universities – Prof Oduro

By
Afedzi Abdullah/Isaac Arkoh, GNA

Cape Coast, Sept 15, GNA – Politicians have
been asked to move away from undue interference in appointments and
administrative processes of the public tertiary institutions.

Professor George K.T Oduro, Pro Vice
Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), said that was undermining the
smooth functioning of public institutions of higher learning.

This had not been helpful to efforts at
delivering on their core mandate.

He made reference to recent happenings at the
University of Education Winneba (UEW), University of  Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Cape
Coast Polytechnic and warned that “extreme politicisation would not only
destroy the country’s universities but the nation as a whole”.

Prof Oduro was giving his inaugural lecture on
the theme: “Repositioning universities for national character development:
does leadership and mindset education matter?” at the UCC.

He expressed worry about the situation where
people aspiring for key positions in the universities often rushed to obtain
party cards to identify themselves with the political party in power.

He advised against appointing people with
extreme partisan and divisive orientation to positions of Vice Chancellor and
Chairman of University Governing Councils.

The Pro Vice Chancellor invited the
universities to show greater concern about the increasing political
polarisation, permeating every facet of the society.

“In recent years, our country has been
experiencing cases of political polarisation that is permeating every sector of
the economy and gradually subduing national character.

Leadership power and authority is increasingly
becoming a tool for categorising citizens of the nation and workers at the
workplace.”

He reminded the universities that they had key
role to play to salvage the situation – reverse the trend.

Institutions of higher learning should avoid
using their faculties and lecture theatres to serve partisan ideological
interests.

Successful nations in the world had invested
in university education to develop national character which undoubtedly was the
pivot around which sustained national development thrived.

Prof Oduro said through its primary functions
of teaching, research and extension services, universities were expected to
prepare students for leadership positions necessary for speeding up national
growth.

“Universities will fail as a hub of
knowledge generation and application if they fail to place national character
at the core of what students learn at the lecture theatres.”

He underlined the need for them to introduce
innovative and society-driven programmes to help find solutions to development
challenges of the nation.

He suggested that “Leadership for national
character” should be introduced as a liberal course in the universities to
build the leadership capacity of the nation regardless of one’s area of
speciality.

Prof Oduro called for change in the mindset of
the people and said the universities had vital part to play in that.

“The success of a nation depends on the mindset
owned by its universities and the extent to which leadership power promote a
national character. If the universities sow a decisive mindset, it will produce
leaders will decisive tendencies.”

He asked that they accepted to go the extra
mile to help students developed a mindset that imbibed strong sense of
nationalism and patriotism.

GNA

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