COMBINE KNOWLEDGE WITH WISDOM IN ANY ENDEAVOUR – Prof F.K.A Allotey, FGA
The 8th congregation and 16 matriculation of the Catholic University College of Ghana took place on the 2nd of March 2013. The programme was attended by a number of dignitaries – Most Rev. Philip Naameh, Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Episcopal Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ conference, Hon. Eric Opoku, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon. Cletus Avoka, Member of Parliament for the Zebilla constituency in the Upper East Region, The Chief of Fiapre, Nana Opoku Ababio II, The Queen Mother of Fiapre , Traditional leaders of Fiapre, the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University and other Vice Chancellors from sister and mentor Universities and a host of others.
The guest speaker for the occasion was Prof. F. K. A. Allotey, FGA, the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences spoke on the team ‘TEN YEARS OF HOLISITIC CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY EDUCATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF GHANA.’
In his speech he defined education as, ‘‘the process of teaching or schooling a child. According to the Catholic Church and her understanding of education as per the encyclical Gravissimunm Educationis, “Education is bringing about the nurturing of the intellectual faculties of students and helping them to develop a “capacity for sound judgment” and introducing them to the cultural heritage bequeathed to them by former generations”. ’’ Holistic Education, he said, literally means striving to train and enrich students to become professionals, groomed in the principles of learning and pedagogical skills. ‘‘Holistic education equips students with analytical and entrepreneurial skills to meet the challenges of today’s global economy.’’
He stressed the need for education to be both academic and with a moral dimension; it would only be truncated and not be holistic education if it is without moral dimension he said.
Prof. Allotey told the congregation that, ‘‘the main aim of Catholic Education is to produce a citizenry with an all round education which puts them at the service of humanity. It is because of this Catholic Philosophy and drive for universal education that made the founders of the University choose as its motto: “Scientiae Ac Sapientiae Lumen Splendeat”, meaning “‘Let The Light of Knowledge and Wisdom Shine Brightly’’.
He also praised the University for the Great stride it has made over the last ten years; Beginning with a student population of fifty students (50) at the Sunyani Pastoral Centre in 2003 and now having a student population four thousand, four hundred and twelve (4,412) students after only ten years of its existence.
He also commended the University in its bid to combine mathematics with other courses such as BSc. Economics with Mathematics and Mathematics with Finance.
He urged the University College that in its tenth year of existence, it should review its operations especially academic programmes, establish new faculties and add new programmes that will attract prospective students. As a Scientist, he asked the University to set up Faculty of Science and Technology which will provide unlimited avenues for many courses to be introduced to meet today’s growing science and technological needs of our society.
In view of the financial difficulties faced by private universities, he also asked the National Accreditation Board and the National Council for Tertiary Education to impress upon government and its agencies such as the GETFund and the Scholarship Secretariat to help with staff development, offering scholarships and bursaries to academic staff in private Universities like the Catholic University College of Ghana to pursue PhD programmes locally and abroad.
Finally, challenged the fresh students and indeed all students of the University to strive for excellence as they take advantage of the holistic education being offered by the University. In an age of science and technology where knowledge is power, our students should have an enquiring and analytical mind. They should not only strive to attain academic excellence, but also moral excellence. He entreated the students to keep in mind the need to continue to combine knowledge with wisdom in any endeavour they find themselves in.
He congratulated the graduands for their academic achievements and urged them to make their mark wherever they find themselves, either the public or private sector, and thereby raise the image of their alma mater. They should also build a strong alumni association to support the development of the University.
The University graduated 679 and matriculated 414 students at its 8th congregation and 16th matriculation.