PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, GHANA
10TH CONGREGATION CEREMONY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2016
WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CHANCELLOR OF PUCG (Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey)
On this special day of the 10th Congregation of the Presbyterian University College, Ghana, I deem it a great honour to be among such distinguished people herein gathered. I bring you greetings from the General Assembly Council, the Clerk of the General Assembly and from the entire Presbyterian Community.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, not quite long ago, we had the privilege of having some of you to join us here to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this University. Today’s function is also another unique one. And its uniqueness lies in the fact that, today, Presbyterian University College, Ghana is graduating 661 students at its 10th Congregation; and this calls for celebration.
As Chancellor of this promising University, I have the singular honour of welcoming you to the Okwahu Campus of the University for this Sacred Function. It is my hope that you will enjoy our cool weather and serene environment in the attractive and delightful Okwahu setting.
PCG and Educational Delivery
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we all know the background of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana as far as excellent educational delivery is concerned. The Presbyterian Church of Ghana is the pioneer of formal education in Ghana and a catalyst in the growth of education. The Church has indeed played and continues to play a significant role in the educational system of the nation with the establishment of several junior and senior high schools, colleges of education, nurses training colleges, vocational institutions and two universities, one of which is the Presbyterian University College, Ghana, the only Church in Ghana with two Universities. The Church has undoubtedly, contributed so much to the development of the human resource base for the development of the nation since colonial times.
The Presbyterian Church, as can be seen, does not only focus on high moral values and discipline, but also, excellent content in education delivery which cuts across all levels in Ghana. This is evident in the fact that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana runs some of the most prominent second cycle institutions, Colleges of education and other tertiary educational institutions in the country.
Nananom, we are located in semi urban parts of our Country to serve as catalyst for the development of these areas. It is for this reason that, though, PUCG is a fee-paying private university, we continue to charge low fees as compared to those of other private universities. For example, for three consecutive years, PUCG has not increased its tuition fees.
We Ghanaians pride ourselves in our cherished social values. However, these values are being eroded at an alarming rate. It appears our traditional social agents, including the family, are failing in their role of transmitting these cherished values to the young ones.
Values such as:
• Hard work
• Respect for authority / laws of the land and the aged
• The spirit of sacrificing for the good of others
Ladies and Gentlemen, these esteemed values are gradually being replaced with attitudes which can best be seen as their direct opposite.
Whereas in the past, everybody was the other person’s keeper in terms of instilling discipline into the young, what do we see in our contemporary society? One dares not try to correct another person’s child; in some instances, even teachers do not have the right to. I believe that as a nation, we should use our educational system to inculcate our moral values in the young generation by including these values in the syllabuses right from the Nursery and Kindergarten to the Senior High School Level and even beyond, and emphasize the practical training component of every subject.
The Wisdom writer says in Proverbs 9:10 that: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Ladies and Gentlemen, if the Presbyterian University College, Ghana as a Church institution would make religion a required course for every student who enters the University and interested students could earn Certificates or Diplomas in Religious Studies and related subjects alongside the core programmes they are reading would not only benefit the University itself but would also help shape the moral character of our nation greatly.
Nananom, permit me to touch on the theme for this year’s congregation which is about Graduate Unemployment. Honourable Guests, it is a fact that the current situation in the country is that graduates come out and there is no job for them to do. Mr. Chairman, today, as Presbyterian University College, Ghana, is graduating its 10th batch of graduates, let us ask ourselves: where are these graduands going to from here? Are they all going to depend on the government for jobs in the current spate of unemployment in this country which has resulted into the formation of an association called the Unemployed Graduates Association in Ghana? We hope not.
Thankfully, there is one unique principle attached to Presbyterian training inherited from the Basel Missionary formation which underlines the preparation and training of the Head, the Heart and the Hand, that makes the student a totally holistic individual who is ready and willing to render selfless services to both Church and Society.
It is to this end that the offer of additional programmes in this University that provide entrepreneurial skills which help in the training of the Head, the Heart and the Hand deserve high commendation. Besides, the involvement of University students in Chaplaincy and Life Values programme of activities is an eloquent demonstration and conscious efforts of the University to develop the character of all those who pass through Presbyterian University College, Ghana.
Taking such preferential option in providing holistic formation helps in producing students who are ready to become employers rather than employees; and who have the capacity, to a large extent, to be creative and innovative and are relevant and competitive on the global job market.
I wish to take this opportunity to call on the Government to initiate policies that could create job avenues to the citizenry, particularly to the graduates who come out before they become frustrated because of lack of jobs for them. I again call on government to create the enabling environment and initiate policies which would encourage those who want to open their own businesses to be able to do so.
Message to the Graduands
Congratulations, new graduands! I believe you have worked so hard to earn the degree that is about to be conferred on you. I am very certain that you have learnt a lot during your four-year stay in this University. The University has certainly worked hard to imbibe in you some of the old Presbyterian discipline. I wish to remind you that in our quest to become a middle income nation and to sustain such a level of development, the nation will need well-skilled and morally upright citizens. We need citizens of integrity. As you go into the real world, make use of the principle of the 3H (Head, Hand & Heart). Go out there and shine. Be good ambassadors of this University by your attitudes. You must never lose sight of the motto of your alma mater which is Discipline in Leadership. Go, and be a leader of integrity. Do not be afraid to keep the flame of Presbyterian Discipline aloft wherever you find yourselves, because your success in life and the progressive development of our nation hang heavily on disciplined citizenry.
You must continue to learn, be honest and focus on hard work with the desire to make a mark for the good of Ghana and humanity wherever you find yourselves. Don’t let the Church, your family and the nation down by failing to demonstrate a high sense of hard work and discipline. May you get your heart’s desire as you go into the professional world.
Nananom, Honourable Guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church, I once again welcome you all to the 10th Graduation Ceremony of the Presbyterian University College, Ghana. May God Almighty bless our nation and its youth on whose shoulders rest the development of our nation in the years ahead.
Once again, I welcome you all to this sacred occasion.
May God bless us all.