Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has argued that the controversial ‘University of Ghana not thinking’ statement uttered by Senyo Hosi, Chief Executive of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, is a bitter truth.
Mr. Hosi, an alumnus with three degrees –all from the university- berated management and lecturers for producing students who lack the ability to think.
At the university’s event marking its 70th anniversary, Hosi unequivocally mentioned that he will never hire any graduate from the University of Ghana because, they are empty and lack relevant skills.
“I have three degrees; all from the University of Ghana. I won’t hire anybody [from here]. It’s simple and it’s a matter of substance…. Your MBA people, I won’t hire. How many T. As [Teaching Assistants] haven’t written people’s thesis?” a visibly furious Hosi remarked.
“You must make people cease wanting to come for a degree. [You must make people] wanting to come for education and certain skills that make them viable in the future. Your children don’t have skills that make them viable for the future. They don’t have the thinking; they are robots. Even that robot, they can’t do it,” he continued.
“It starts with you guys as lecturers. It starts with you being the thinkers. You guys are not thinking. Respectfully, no thinking is going on here. It starts with you guys as lecturers. It starts with you being the thinkers. You guys are not thinking. Respectfully, no thinking is going on here.”
“What do you churn out?” Hosi asked. “You’re churning out people with degrees; not people with education. Not people with skills on how to leave. That is the problem. And respectfully, the old men running this school, they are too many. Get them out!”
His statement attracted a rebuttal from Prof. Ransford Gyampo, Director of European Studies at the University of Ghana who suggested that Hosi rather refused to think before making the statement.
“I disagree with you that UG people don’t think. I rather will wish to question your own ability to think. It seems to me that you spoke without any introspection. Your words were unexamined. Otherwise, how did you obtain three degrees from an institution of non-thinkers? If you are a thinker yourself, why do you go to a non-thinking school to obtain three degrees? UG taught you well, but clearly, not all students are receptive to teaching and learning. Hence your ignorant outburst,” portions of his eight-point letter read.
Making a submission on the matter, Manasseh agreed with Hosi on the basis that the performance of graduates from the University of Ghana in the job market is abysmal, to say the least.
He said: “Senyo Hosi has raised a very important discussion. And we ought to face the reality and not be driven by our emotions. I have two degrees from the University of Ghana. (GIJ was affiliated to UG in my days). I appreciate the effort the lecturers put into shaping me. But I’m not proud of the state of affairs in the university.
“It took me four years to get my master’s degree. The substance of Senyo Hosi’s submission reflects the reality on the ground. You may argue with the form. Employ an average student from Ashesi and you will be impressed. Employ an average student from any of the public universities and you will regret it.”
Manasseh however, contested Hosi’s statement that management and lecturers are responsible for the mess. According to him, government has also failed to do the needful.
He said: “My only point of departure is that the management and lecturers are not the only ones to blame. Some of the lecturers are great thinkers and are doing a lot despite the challenges. Some of them are part of the problem, but the government is also guilty of the mess. We have not funded our schools well. And SOME of the faculty members, despite their training abroad, are not prepared to change.”
“I have both of my degrees from the University of Ghana. But if I’m given a scholarship to do a PhD at the University of Ghana, I will reject it. This is not disrespect to anybody. There are serious challenges and being emotional will not solve the problem. We must face the reality. The University of Ghana cannot compare favourably with any standard university in Europe, America or Asia. And we should not reason with our hearts, but with our heads, when someone says publicly what we say everyday in private,” the former Joy FM presenter concluded.