The only specialized mining institution in Ghana and West Africa, University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa is being compounded by serious challenges including staffing, finance, and infrastructure. Vice Chancellor for the university, Professor Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma in his speech at the 10th Congregation of the university, averred the current staff capacity of the institution is dwindling, and as result proactive measures need to be taken to address them given that additional educational programmes and enrollment would be taken to cater for the numbers that might ensue from the Free SHS programme.
He noted some clearance to replace about seventy-eight staff have already been exhausted.
“UMaT is also grateful to government for granting the university clearance to replace 78 staff who left the service of the university since 2016. We have already exhausted the 78 places given us and have 26 staff who have left or are leaving the employ of the university at the end of September this year”, he said
“Prof Minister, UMaT is appealing through you to help us get replacement and also to recruit new staff as our programmes are set to increase in order ti cater for the increase in in-intake we envisage as a result of His Excellency President Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo’s flagship free SHS programme”, the Vice Chancellor requested.
Prof J.S.Y Kuma continued that there exist a huge funding gap between government support and internally generated funds. He noted these limitations make teaching and learning difficult.
“…UMaT is facing aerious financial challenges which make teaching and learning very difficult. There is always a large funding gap between government support and what the universities generate through fees compared to the amount required to train our students”, he explained.
He adds that the no upward adjustment has been given Academic User Fees over the past two years irrespective of inflations recorded over the period. Prof. Kuma appealed to the Sector Minister in charge of Tertiary education, Prof Kwesi Yankah to expedite their request for parliamentary approval on their fees schedule.
“While UMaT is aspiring to be a world class university, the Academic User fees we charge students are very low and this has not seen any upward adjustment even to match inflation in the past two years. We are appealing to government through the Minister of State for Tertiary Education to help us get Parliament to approve the fees schedule we have presented to them”, Prof Kuma appealled to government.
He bemoaned the manner at which some infrastructure projects have stalled due to financial challenges. The new administration block, 4- storey faculty block, 2- storey 8 flats of three bedroom each and 2-storey cafeteria block among others, Prof Kuma mentioned, had all been stalled due to inadequate funds. Prof Kuma, sought to remind the President Nana Addo Dankwa of a promise he made in January this year during the investiture of the Chancellor of the University H.E John Agyekum Kuffour, to resource the university with a GH5,000,000 annually to support the completion of these projects.
Reassuring the University of the President and government’s commitment to support academia, and in particular the GH5,000,000 pledge, Western Regional Minister Dr. Kwaku Afriyie said the amount would be released soon.
“H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo is committed to seeing to the early completion of these projects. it is for this reason that at the Investiture of Chancellorship in January this year, H.E the President pledged an annual allocation of GH 5,000,000.00 to help the university to tackle the infrastructure development at your new site. I am in touch with H.E the President and hopefully that amount would soon be released to serve its intended purpose”, he elaborated.
In all a total of 506 out of 598 including; 9 PHD, 46 MSc and MPhil, 442 BSc., 5 Diploma, and 4 certificate holders, were graduated. Out of the total number of graduands, 110 were honoured with first class. Currently, the student population stands at 2,299 taking programmes at various levels.
Story: Abraham Mensah