Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, has inaugurated a newly constituted 10-member Governing Council for the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), the premier Journalism training Institution, and tasked the Council to work for global standards.
The Council is under the Chairmanship of Professor Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, who is a government nominee. Other government appointees on the Council are Mr Edwin Amankwah and Madam Monica Korkor Bleboo.
Other members of the Council are Dr Wilberforce S. Dzisah, Rector of the Institute, Mr Zakaria Tanko Musah, Representative of the Academic Board, Dr Kweku Rockson, Ministry of Education and Dr Margaret Ivy Amoakohene, Head of School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana.
The rest are Mrs Harriet Akua Karikari, Convocation Nominee, Mr Akwasi Owusu Agyeman, Media Industry and Ms Ajoa K.V. Yeboah-Afari, Alumni of the Institute.
The Council is the highest decision-making body of the Institute, with the mandate to ensure the attainment of the aims of the Institute, determine its strategic direction, ensure the creation of an environment of equal opportunities for the students of the GIJ without regard to ethnicity, sex, race, religious belief or political affiliation.
It is also responsible for the management and administration of finances and properties of the Institute and the determination of the allocation and proper use of funds, promote income-generating activities, and ensure the conservation and augmentation of resources of the GIJ, specifically in relation to matters affecting income or expenditure.
In a brief, remark, Dr Opoku Prempeh charged the Council to resolve the challenges facing the Institute, including inadequate academic, administrative and residential infrastructure; as well as challenges in attracting and maintaining qualified staff.
“It is the expectation of Government that your Council will not only identify challenges that need solution,” he said. “It should as much as possible also identify the various challenges and suggest the best way possible out of those problems.
“The Ministry has received a number of complaints and petitions regarding the current management of the GIJ.
“As the Council, you are expected to provide strong leadership and resolve these issues as a matter of urgency to enhance the smooth running of the Institute.”
The Minister stated that there had been many complaints in the public sphere over the general quality and standards of the journalism profession.
“Of course, not everyone who parade around as a journalist is a product of the Institute, and, therefore, it would not be proper to lay the blame on it,” he pointed out.
“However it is my expectation that the GIJ will continue to provide rigorous training of its students. This will ensure that the Institute becomes and remains the gold standard as far as training of journalists is concerned. Your role in ensuring this is crucial.”
Dr Opoku – Prempeh, therefore, urged the Council to seek some level of engagement with the National Council for Tertiary Education, the regulator of all tertiary institutions in the country.
On behalf of the Council, Prof Ansu-Kyeremeh said they were honoured for the opportunity and assured the Minister and the GIJ Community of their commitment to use their diverse expertise to craft strategies to address the challenges facing the Institute.
He said the Council would ensure that GIJ excelled from degree awarding journalism training institution locally to a global one.