The University of Education, Winneba celebrated the graduation of 8,356 students last Saturday, accompanied by a call for the government to expedite the evolution of the digital economy.
The university’s Chancellor, Neenyi Ghartey VII, emphasized the potential of the digital economy to generate employment opportunities and revamp traditional industries.
Neenyi Ghartey, also the Paramount Chief of the Effutu Traditional Area, stressed the importance of launching targeted and time-bound employment initiatives in labor-intensive sectors like infrastructure, agriculture, and manufacturing.
These initiatives are envisioned to address the prevailing unemployment challenges and stimulate economic growth.
Among the graduating cohort were 1,732 recipients of diplomas, 5,492 first-degree awardees, and 1,132 postgraduate degree recipients.
Within the first-degree graduates, 182 achieved first-class honors, 932 attained second-class upper, 1,755 secured second-class lower, 1,821 were awarded third-class honors, and 802 earned a pass.
A significant proportion of the graduates, 3,611 in total, hailed from the College for Distance and e-Learning (CODeL).
Addressing the 27th graduation’s second session held on August 26, Neenyi Ghartey advocated for an immediate emphasis on employment solutions while also advocating for programs that equip young individuals with relevant skills for the modern job market.
He proposed encouraging entrepreneurship, providing training and mentorship, and offering funds to support the development of the next generation of job creators.
He called on the government to fortify policies aimed at promoting education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship among the youth, thereby empowering them to contribute effectively to the economy.
Neenyi Ghartey further suggested fostering collaboration between educational institutions and industries to align curricula with market demands, particularly in emerging sectors such as technology and green industries.
He highlighted that supporting existing industries facing challenges, bolstering vulnerable sectors, and nurturing innovation could safeguard jobs and promote long-term sustainability.
Neenyi Ghartey encouraged the graduates to adopt a proactive mindset, stressing that unemployment could be transformed into an opportunity for innovation and transformation.
He urged them to explore avenues of entrepreneurship and innovation, underlining their potential to contribute to economic development and employment generation.
In his address, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mawutor Avoke advised the graduates to embrace adaptability, openness to new experiences, and a willingness to pivot as necessary. He emphasized that change was a pivotal driver of success.
Prof. Avoke urged the graduates to embrace diversity and cultivate meaningful relationships, as well as challenge norms, stay curious, and prioritize their physical and mental well-being.
Prof. Avoke acknowledged that while some distractions had occurred due to staff concerns, an atmosphere of peace and productivity had largely been reinstated at UEW.
He welcomed the incoming Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Jobson Mitchual, and called for unified support to ensure his successful tenure.