The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged Ghana's youth, particularly the large number of graduates, to take advantage of Government's various initiatives and interventions, particularly in the area of digitalization, to make a positive difference in their lives and the nation as a whole.
Reminding the youth that they are the future of Ghana, Dr Bawumia urged them to fully utilise their innate and learned abilities to "step up, do something great, and be counted."
Vice President Bawumia made the call at the 13th Congregation of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Saturday 24th July, 2021 during which 870 graduands, drawn from the UPSA School of Law and School of Graduate Studies, were awarded various degrees after years of study.
The University also conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree on the Minister for Energy and MP for Manhyia South, Hon Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, for his meritorious service while serving as Minister for Education, during which he implemented a number of epoch-making policies and programmes, including the Free Senior High School (FSHS).
"A good society requires men and women ready to use their intellect and knowledge to addressing society's problems and finding solutions to the benefit of the many. A good society requires a generation of citizens who are always looking for opportunities to lift up the weak in society, opening doors wider for the less privileged in society.
"And it also requires respect for our fellow citizens and a desire to brighten the corner where ever you are. Mother Ghana needs you - your intellect, your knowledge, your discipline and your dedication to work" he urged the graduates.
Commending the authorities of UPSA for leveraging technology in adapting to the 'new normal', including plans to migrate to a smart and paperless electronic platform for its day-to-day administration in the wake of Covid 19, Dr Bawumia said the pandemic has presented many challenges across several sectors of our economy, including the educational sector, and it is important that all stakeholders support Government's digitization drive.
"Access to internet connectivity ensured that academic work, commercial transactions, social interactions and other academic and administrative activities were uninterrupted.
"Government initiated a free-wifi project to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to 722 public Senior High Schools, 46 Colleges of Education, 16 regional offices and 260 District Education Offices. So far, 13 public universities have joined.
"The benefits of a Free Wi-Fi Project for promoting education is enormous; not least, it will ensure continued learning. More importantly, lecturers, teachers and students will have access to the necessary educational information to enhance teaching, learning and research in our Universities and Colleges across the country.
"Education is the heartbeat of his Excellency President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He is passionate about producing citizens who are productive, problem solvers, innovators and have the nation at heart.
"Digitization is a catalyst for reaching every youth with quality education and we are determined not to leave anybody behind."
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh
Vice President Bawumia commended the authorities UPSA for recognizing the many accomplishments of Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh aka Napo, "the hard-working, former Minister of Education, who executed Government's bold flagship programme: Free SHS with distinction.
"In recognition of his many accomplishments, Hon. Prempeh was recently invited by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve on its Mission 4.7 High-Level Advisory Group as an Honorary and Meritorious Member.
"I am very happy that he has also been recognised and honoured at home by UPSA. A well-deserved honour, and it reinforces the high regard many have of him for his remarkable leadership role in the promotion of quality education in Ghana."
Established in 1965 as a private institution, UPSA was taken over by the Government of Ghana in 1979. The Institute attained fully fledged university status on 1st September, 2008, when it was granted a Presidential Charter. On 9th October, 2012, the Institute was renamed the University of Professional Studies, Accra following the Presidential assent to the University of Professional Studies Bill passed by Parliament on 31st July of the same year to bring into effect the University of Professional Studies Act, 2012 (Act 850).