“Let’s place emphasis on science, technology and innovation” – CEO
“Technical Universities are not traditional universities, you don’t need PhDs to teach here, youdon’t need Masters to be a lecturer, we don’t need to put you on the same level and say that let’s compare..."
Emmanuel Kwaku Asiedu, the Chief Executive Officer of Gratis Foundation, has asked government to vary the requirements needed to become a lecturer in the traditional universities and technical universities instead of the prevailing practice where the same requirement is being used for the two.
He explained that considering the uniqueness of the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), one does not necessarily need to hold a PhD or a Master’s degree to be able to teach in a Technical University.
“Technical Universities are not traditional universities, you don’t need PhDs to teach here, you don’t need Masters to be a lecturer, we don’t need to put you on the same level and say that let’s compare. There is no comparison because we are technical universities; practically oriented, what is needed is what the fellow is coming out with, not the degree.”
Dr. Emmanuel Kwaku Asiedu was speaking at the maiden edition of Speaking at the maiden edition of a series of quarterly Colloquium organized by the Sunyani Technical University at the school’s main Auditorium in Sunyani.
It was under the theme, “Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovations for Sustainable National Development” and was well attended by teaching and non-teaching staff of STU as well as students and teachers of Sunyani Senior High School and the Methodist Technical Institute.
“We have had the degrees all over, what have we done. Even common oil……it pains me…. that only ten to 15% of oil we have in Ghana belongs to us because of some people brought their technology to exploit our oil and they are taking all the money away”, he cried out.
Dr. Kwaku Asiedu, who is credited for saving the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) at Tema GHC200, 000 yearly for 10 years (from 1993 - 2003) by manufacturing locally grinding discs for a milling machine and stopped their importation, challenged university graduates to think outside the box and help solve some of the challenges facing their communities.
In his opinion, Engineering should be “the combination of mathematics, science and technology to produce creative solutions to real world problems.”
“If after all the science you do, after all the engineering you do; all that you can do is to prove a formula or calculate or use the Kirchhoff's current law to calculate whatever it is…” then one is being less useful to society, adding that “There should be empirical evidence of the mathematical and the scientific method that you have studied…”, the CEO said.
“I want to challenge every student here, every engineering student here; every science student here, come up with a new innovation, come up with a new thing, do the practical, apply your scientific and mathematical knowledge.”
“The cos theta and the sin theta, the integration and the differentiation that you do; they are all to help you to be able to come out with the practical, evidential something to show to everybody.”
Touching on the government’s One-District, One-Factory policy, the renowned entrepreneur was emphatic that it is achievable within a four-year period.
“The One-District, One-Factory (I came up with it in 2014), is doable within four years if we put the right measures place”, he said.
“Let’s pursue innovation-driven growth…..if we ever want to go anywhere, we should pursue innovative-driven growth. That is, train and employ science, technology and innovation capacities and …. We should pursue science, technology and innovation policy independently on the broader developmental agenda…”
For his part the STU Council Chairman, Ing. Dr. Kwame Agyemang-Boakye re-echoed the critical role of science, technology and engineering and innovations in the development of any nation.
“The difference between the developed and developing nations is attributable to the advancement in technology, science, engineering and innovation. If Africa and Ghana were to develop, it is imperative to invest in science, technology and engineering”, he stressed.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ing. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, hoped that the series of colloquiums being organized by the Sunyani Technical University would positively impact on the country’s industrialization drive, especially programmes such as the One-District, One-Factory and the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign.