The Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director of GHACEM, Rev. Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, has appealed to the government to walk the talk of making the private sector an engine of growths.
He said the government’s role in bridging the gap between academia and industry was to fix the holdups to industrial growth such as access and cost of credit, high taxes, stability of the cedi and the erratic power supply.
“Job opportunities are declining because industries are collapsing. What does the private sector need? The enabling environment for business to thrive... to ensure the sustainability of existing businesses and also attract new ones”
Rev. Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah was speaking on the theme “Bridging the gap between academia and industry- a collaborative partnership” at the 105th Speech, Prize-giving and Founder’s Day Celebrations of Adisadel College, his alma mater, in Cape Coast
He said though the private sector was the largest employer in the country, constituting about 93.7 percent, the reality of the assertion that “Private sector is the engine of growth” was uncertain.
“This is not politics… I am speaking as an industrialist and the aim of any businessman is to grow, so whether party A or B, my business should grow… I am not saying the government is not making efforts but we in the industry still feel that we still have a long way to go...”
Rev. Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah said the role of the government in bridging the gap also included provision of infrastructure and sufficient teaching and learning materials to make teaching and learning conducive to produce well trained graduates.
He also mentioned establishment of specialized institutions that will focus on vocational, technical, science and engineering courses to facilitate acquisition of practical skills by the students.
The role of the academia, Rev. Dr. Dawson-Amoah said, was to enhance education curricula to sync with industry requirements and to emphasize on entrepreneurship and skills development so they could create their own jobs after school and even employ others.
To the industries, he said they had the role to provide funding and scholarships for training of brilliant but needy children and offer on the job training for outstanding fresh graduates.
He urged them to also allow industrial attachments and visits to enable students develop vocational self-concept, acquire job relevant skills and provide informed career decision making ability as well as organise periodic seminars for students.
On the role of Parents, he said they were to train their children to develop virtuous personality, make their education a priority and invest in it instead of forcing them to pursue programmes of no interest to them.
Students, he said were to study hard, be determined, develop their interpersonal and communication skills as well as make good use of the opportunity to go to school.
“Bridging the gap between academia and industry will certainly not come without challenges but the benefits for the entire economy certainly far outweigh the cost. It behooves on us to work together to produce school leavers who can effectively compete in the world of work.”
Dr. Godfred Gaisie, Medical Director of the Department of Radiology at the Akron Children’s Clinic in America who is an old student, stressed the important role Information Communication Technology played in the current job market.
For this reason Dr. Gaise and his batch of students, who completed in 1965, as part of their 50th Anniversary, donated a state-of-the-art computer system for a 40-seat computer laboratory to the school in addition to two servers that control 20 stations, a projector and a screen.