The 14th Congregation of the Ghana Institute of Journalism was held between the 13th and 14th of November, 2020 at the New Dzorwulu Campus of the Institute in Accra to award degrees and diplomas to graduates who completed their programmes of study for the 2019/2020 academic year.
Students from the Faculty of Journalism and Public Relations who graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies were presented during the 1st and 2nd sessions held on 13th November, 2020. The 3rd session, held on Saturday, 14th November 2020 saw the conferment of Diplomas in Communication Studies on graduands.
A total of one thousand, two hundred and thirty-two (1,232) students graduated in the three sessions. This was made up of three hundred and twenty-five (325) graduating with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Communication Studies, Journalism option and four hundred and eighty (480) graduating with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Communication Studies, Public Relations option. A total of four hundred and twenty-seven (427) students graduated with Diplomas in Communication Studies.
COVID-19 and the Learning Management System
In his report during the event, the Rector, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo mentioned that when COVID-19 officially visited Ghana’s shores somewhere in March 2020, management of the Institute with the cooperation of faculty, administrative staff and students began exploring innovative online technologies that could help restore some sense of normalcy into academic life. He reported that, the Institute managed to roll out a Learning Management System (LMS) which was ultimately used to complete teaching and learning as well as conduct examinations to complete the 2019/2020 academic year. He was confident that the system is efficient and robust enough to support academic work as it has been deployed for the new academic year and beyond.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo in his report mentioned that GIJ is in full support of government’s plan to merge the Ghana Institute of Journalism, the National Film and Television Institute and the Ghana Institute of Languages into one university. He mentioned that, the merger will provide significant opportunities to build on the synergies offered by the component institutes, while safeguarding the history and identity of each institution. He was emphatic that, as the first born Institution in the merger, GIJ would set itself in readiness to leverage the opportunities and challenges that will emanate from the proposed merger and be proactive in playing a crucial collaborative leadership role, to demonstrate innovativeness in enhancing management of programmes, teaching and research effectiveness in the new university while expanding GIJ’s unique offerings in a manner that will support the needs of all constituencies.
In the area of physical development, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo reported that, the Ghana Institute of Journalism has grown rather slowly in terms of student numbers due to its inability to accommodate the increasing numbers of prospective applicants. He mentioned however that, plans are underway to develop the New Dzorwulu campus into a fully-fledged ultramodern university campus as the Institute seeks to partner private investors to build hostel facilities and a lecture hall complex. He stated also that the Institute plans to construct a Digital Media Hub that will be the technological heartbeat of the Institute and the training grounds for the 21st Century fully equipped and well-rounded digital graduate and the global citizen that we want to train our students to become. Under consideration also, according to him, is the construction of an administrative block; a specific building to house GIJ’s growing academic faculties, secretariats and staff, a multi-purpose building that will house a students’ centre, a commercial hub, clinic, alumni offices, religious space and many more.
Rector’s Message to graduands
The Rector, addressing the graduands mentioned that, as the Institute present them as graduates to the fast-changing world of work, he is hopeful that, they will add to the scores of excellent communication professionals trained by the Institute who are contributing immensely to the development of Ghana. He admonished them to pursue excellence by applying discipline, working hard and exhibiting commitment and consistency in their work. He encouraged them to be ethical in all endeavours and make integrity the cornerstone of their work as they ground themselves in long-lasting values like responsibility, fairness, magnanimity and respect for all. Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo finally encouraged graduands to place value on and be passionate about building relationships; for according to him, relationships constitute the human glue that holds society together and ensure both progress and continuity.
Remarks by Minister of Information
Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who represented the President during the first session commended GIJ for leading the way in the training of communication professionals in the country.
He mentioned that government was committed to ensuring that the merger of GIJ, NAFTI and GIL was properly done to promote communication education in the country.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah mentioned that, as higher numbers of graduates of the free senior high school policy would seek admission to tertiary institutions, including GIJ, government is committed to helping GIJ get the needed infrastructure to accommodate the expected increase in admissions.
The minister advised graduates to put the skills they had acquired to good use and not follow the bandwagon.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah mentioned that there was the need for communication students to blend hard and soft skills to make the desired impact on society.
Mrs. Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Vodafone Ghana and Mrs. Sandra Opoku, Director of Tema Port were the guest speakers for the 2nd and 3rd sessions.
Commissioning of new campus
The first day of the 14th Congregation saw the commissioning of a building complex on the Institute’s new campus located at Dzorwulu in Accra.
The five-storey building contains lecture halls, offices, auditoriums, conference rooms and sanitation facilities.
The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who was the Guest of Honour, joined Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, Chairman of the Governing Council of GIJ and Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, the Rector, to cut the tape to commission the building for academic work.
Best Graduating Students
Miss Berverlyn Alartey Nunoo was adjudged the Overall Best Student as well as the Best Student in Journalism, Miss Anastasia Nanaba Acquah emerged the best student in Print Journalism whereas Miss Ama Yayra Ademadji won the Best Student in Broadcast Journalism award. Mr. Joseph Agbezuke grabbed the Most Promising Student Journalist award.
Other award winners included Mr. Isaac-Jackson Kojo Ayitey, Best Student in Public Relations (top-up programme), Mr. Felix Kojo Apreku Asante, Best Student in Public Relations (regular programme) and Ms. Angela Ofosu Boateng, Most Promising PR Student.
At the Diploma level, Mr. Vincent Amedzake was awarded Best Student in Public Relations and the Overall Best Student while Miss Evelyn Adaku Foli was awarded the Best student in journalism.
Published by: Public Affairs Unit