Mr. Speaker, the
Minister for Information had the pleasure to open the Institute on 16th October, 1959 and again, one of the issues which has confronted us again which affected the GIJ was the unfortunate coup d'etat of 1966 which explains the current site of the Institute.
Mr. Speaker, whilst supporting this legislation, I think that it is important that tremendous investment is made so that within the next four/five years, we can see a tertiary student population of GIJ rise into the thousands if not two thousand five hundred. I believe that after 40 years of its existence, we have not done enough in terms of resourcing it to be able to build adequate academic and residential infrastructure for the school.
Looking through the proposed Bill, there is no provision which guarantees the Institute of its academic autonomy. I have
not seen any provision anywhere talking about the academic autonomy of the institute and I think it is important that we look at it because as a tertiary institution, they already award diplomas on their own rights. It is only with the degrees that they are affiliated to the University of Ghana. I think that we may have to introduce a new clause to guarantee the Institute academic autonomy.
Mr. Speaker, emphasis is also placed only on journalism but we do know that the Institute also runs very credible courses on public relations; so it is important that we take it on board that beyond its traditional obligation of training in public relations and journalism, they also do have other facilities which they use to organize demonstrations and many other related issues. I think that it is a worthy piece of legislation which deserves the support of hon. Members. And as I indicated earlier, it is in the pursuit of the Government's White Paper of 1990.
But Mr. Speaker, there are still fundamental hitches to the 1990 White Paper of government. If you look at it, apart from the tertiary institutions, we were supposed to have what we call the RECAST institutions -- Regional Education Colleges. If you take nurses training colleges today, and take teacher training colleges, I think that in the foreseeable future, the Minister for Education should be looking at enhancing those institutions also as diploma- awarding institutions just as we are doing to the GIJ.
Mr. Speaker, wi th respec t to
accreditation, as much as I agree with the ‘Introduction' of the Committee that they should be affiliated to any other institution, we do know that in Ghana today, the University of Ghana has the privilege of hosting them as the affiliated institution, widely because it is the only institution in this country which runs a training course in mass communication. But I do believe
that in opening it up, they may be able to affiliate themselves to other institutions within or outside Ghana.
In this direction and with these few comments I encourage hon. Members to support this legislation and vote massively for it. I thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo (NPP - Akim
Oda): Mr. Speaker, the vision behind the establishment of GIJ was as true yesterday as it is true today. In 1959, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah saw the need to train the African journalist. This institute was supposed to be a Pan-Africanist institution, to provide the training of journalists to lead the political fight for Africa's liberation. And if you read the memoranda, about three of them, which sought to establish this institution, the Pan-Africanist nature of this institution was very clear. Today, we are seeking to do two things:
1. To lift it up to a tertiary institution and also
2. To relocate it to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports.
A tertiary institution by definition
enjoys academic autonomy and therefore the comment made that there is no clause providing this institution with academic autonomy is not really relevant. The National Council for Tertiary Education defines tertiary institutions and tertiary institutions have certain basic freedoms. Therefore, once we agree to lift this to become a tertiary institution, the National Council for Tertiary Education provides all the freedoms of tertiary institutions including financial autonomy; that is there.
Mr. Speaker, it is also important that we
are relocating. We are relocating because the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports is responsible for training in the manpower requirements of this country