The University of Ghana has held its maiden virtual congregation, graduating 14,295 students.
They comprised 964 students in the non-degree programmes, 8,236 undergraduates, 4,668 post graduate students and 427 PhD students; with 6,807 being females and 7,488 males.
They included final year undergraduate students of the School of Law of the College of Humanities and students who took supplementary examinations at the University of Ghana Schools of Medicine and Dentistry of the College of Health and Allied Sciences.
These students need to have their certificates, in order to continue with the professional training, starting from August.
The decision to hold a virtual congregation ceremony was based on the current guidelines for meetings in large numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, in his report to the Congregation, noted that following the directive issue by the President on March 15, for all educational institute in Ghana to be closed down until further notice, the University Management rolled out online teaching and learning programmes to ensure that the second semester of the 2019-2020 academic year would be completed successfully.
“We fully activated the University of Ghana Sakai Learning Management System (LMS), arranged with Vodafone Ghana to distribute limited data to enable faculty and students to work off campus,” he said.
“We also collaborate with telecommunication companies to white list all University of Ghana academic resources and created a helpdesk to provide technical support to the faculty and student. It is heart-warming to witness many innovations with faculty and employing additional e-resources to compliment the use University of Ghana Sakai Learning Management System.”
He said following another Presidential directive on 31st May, that final year tertiary students could resume lectures, Management met with stakeholders and decided to continue with the online teaching and learning programmes for final and continuing students; while affording final year students, who wish to return to campus to use on campus resources to do so.
He said provision was also made to receive registered final year students who wanted to relocate to campus to use on campus resources from June 15, adding that, make up lessons were arranged for final students who could not participate in the online teaching and learning programme to take their examinations.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the University of Ghana had successfully conducted its end of semester examination for its students.
With regards to accommodation, Prof Owusu said the University had for some time now decoupled admission from accommodation due to some financial obligation and this financial obligation truly had affected their capacity to undertake further investment to augment the housing stock.
He said to address the accommodation challenge, in anticipation of the influx of the first cohort of graduates from free senior high school policy, Management was considering various approaches including an off campus arrangement to identify suitable private residential facilities and recommenced same for interested students.
Prof Owusu advised the graduating students that their commitment to obtain knowledge does not end with their graduation but that they would continue to seek knowledge to enable them make significant changes in your lives and society as a whole.
“As you move on to the next stage of your lives, remember to uphold the values of the University; that is respect, commitment, integrity and loyalty,” he said.
Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Director, Public Prosecutions, Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, guest speaker, urged the class to take advantage of time and the circumstances around them, so that they would eventually create life changing opportunities.
Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chancellor, University of Ghana, congratulated Prof Owusu on his reappointment as the Vice-Chancellor of the University, saying,“Prof Owusu, I salute for your many achievements in your first term and I wish you every success in your second term that starts from august 1st 2020.”