Mr Isaac Boakye Nyamekye, an alumnus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has called for collaborations in the management of the expected changes resulting from the free senior high school policy by the government.
He said there should be partnerships and inclusion on the part of government, university authorities, lecturers, parents and other key stakeholders in decision making in whatever changes that might occurr due to the expected increases in university enrollment from the next academic year.
Mr Nyamekye made the call at a workshop organised by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), to highlight some of the expected challenges and roles of the universities and lecturers, as the first batch of the free SHS beneficiaries prepare to enter the universities in September this year.
It was on the theme “towards receiving the first batch of the free SHS students into the public universities of Ghana: the role of the university and the university teacher”.
Mr Nyamekye, who spoke from the perspective of an old student, said the public must also be aware of the changes that was going to take place at the universities as the result of the policy.
He said the increases would inevitably affect the university lecturer and there was the need for the government to show greater commitment to the welfare and reward of lecturers.
Again, majority of the students who would be admitted into the universities were likely to come from poor backgrounds and there was the need for the government to institute stronger welfare support schemes and systems to enable needy students, especially girls to stay and complete their programmes at the universities.
Mr Nyamekye also stressed the need for the government to address quality challenges in the less endowed senior high schools to create equal opportunities for all beneficiaries to further continue their education at a higher level.
Professor Nana Afia Amponsaa Opoku-Asare of the Faculty of Education Studies, KNUST, said though the policy was going to churn out large numbers of students, not all of them would enter the universities, since some of them would go to nursing, teacher training, technical universities and other tertiary institutions.
However, there was the need for public universities to prepare themselves adequately since it would automatically increase enrollment and workload of university administrators and lecturers.
Prof. Opoku-Asare stressed the need to increase and expand the satellite campuses of public universities to reduce pressure and workload on their main campuses.