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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 January 2004

Columnist: Abdul-Moomin, Gbana

Academia And Industry, What Is The Way Forward?

I have observed with keen interest the activities of academia, industry and the government vis-a-vis the country's developmental growth and it saddens my heart so much.

Many well meaning Ghanaians may have divergent views on this subject. Who says what?

For some people, a perfect and a cordial relationship and atmosphere exist between these major stakeholders of the country's developmental growth. For others,antagonism is the order of the day. Comb most of our industries in this country and you will sympathize with the plight of 'fortunate' Ghanaian students on industrial attachment. The ordeal they would have to go through in order to secure accomodation, fend for themselves and the numerous dangers they are exposed to after a long and tiring semester work.

Worst of it all, the reception and treatment given to students, I am compelled to describe it as inhumane and un-called-for.This attitude renders industrial attachment unpleasant and unattractive eventhough it is a prerequisite prior to the completion of ones programme.Sometimes one feels you are an impediment to progress, so disdained, dejected,rejected and slowly but sure, frustration sets in and the "graduate unemployment syndrome" out there, keeps ringing in your ears every passing day.Is there any hopes at all? Dear reader, just take a pause and carefully consider the cost involved in running final year project work only after sacrificing your scanty and lean resources on such project work to be shelved. The question is, are they meant to adorn shelves?

It is sad but interesting to note that, some students because of the little or no seriousness attached to these project works, under this pretext, jump from one campus to the other in search of already worked project topics which when found are "dubbed" verbatim, upon a little bit of alteration, it is presented for marking and subsequently assessed based on it. What a nefarious canker eating us up. Must we continue to beg or remain paupers, frustrated for life because we are denied the opportunity to maximise or stir up our potentials?

Is it the fault of the lecturer, who has been swimming in one and the same topic all these years? or the industralist who probably out of gross mistrust and inconfidence posed on the Ghanaian technocrat, prefers to contract foreign consultants or researchers at an exorbitant price? or the government who in her bit to cut down on spending neglects budgetary allocation to research work because it is unproductive?

If the academia and industry would work closely with each other such that research relevant to industry are taken up by academia and supported by industry to execute which would go a long way to benefit industry and the nation as a whole.

the government could also formulate a policy to cover student project works and also work at implementing all viable student projects for the good of the country and beyond.

In conclusion, I would like to employ the government to also channel her strength to research work since it is the backbone of the country's developmental growth. Let us reconcile our differences, if any and work closely with each other for a better Ghana.

Gbana Abdul-Moomin student.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.