The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has called on African leaders to look at ways of promoting development initiatives that stood the chance of turning the fortunes of their people, especially the marginalized.
He explained that with the current state of development and global development trends, it was prudent for people in leadership positions in Africa to look at introducing interventions that can change the lives of their people.
Dr Adutwum made the call when a five-member delegation from the Bayelsa State Higher Education (University) from Nigeria paid a courtesy call on him in Accra on Wednesday.
The delegation is expected to spend five days in the country to understudy Ghana’s Student’s Loan Scheme (SLS) and would have several engagements with the leadership and management of the SLT to share mode of operations, best practices, exchange ideas and experiences.
Dr Adutwum, charged African leaders to strive to increase Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) since it was crucial for the development of every country.
He stated that if a country was able to increase its GTER, it would create an opportunity for a large number of the youth who would be ready to work towards the transformation and industrialization of that country.
“There are better days ahead for African countries but there was the need for all to work towards putting in place the right measures and policies towards changing the narrative for Africans”. Dr Adutwum said.
The Education Minister pledged to partner with the Bayelsa State Higher Education to ensure that they exchange ideas, shared experiences and best practices.
The leader of the Nigerian delegation, Dr Michael Ameagberi, Executive Secretary of the Bayelsa State Higher Education Student Loan Board, said, they started operating a student loan scheme three years ago and decided to knock on the doors of Ghana which had a barrage of experience when it comes to Students Loan management.
He lauded Dr Adutwum for the good policies he was rolling out in the country’s education sector to improve the lives of the people.
He was upbeat that the visit to Ghana would help them gain an insight into Ghana’s experience in the Student Loans Scheme among other good education initiatives that are worth emulating by other countries.
Dr Ameagberi said, their loan scheme currently is managing about 5000 students who are in school, saying that, the experiences from Ghana would go a long way to help improve the knowledge and how to improve on the operationalization of the loan scheme of the Bayelsa state which would soon be adopted by other Nigerian Universities.
The Chief Executive Officer of SLT, Nana Agyei Yeboah, assured the Nigerian delegation of its readiness to assist them with the right support to improve the operations of the Students Loan Scheme.
He pledged to help deepen the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria through an exchange of ideas in various fields of endeavour.
The Management of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria is the sole responsibility of the various Federal States unlike in Ghana where the Central Government was responsible for the control and management of all public Universities.
This has led to each Federal State in Nigeria looking for prudent policies that can help improve the lives of its people and the state.
It was based on this that the leadership and management of the Bayelsa State three years ago come out with the Students Loans Scheme to help support students in the tertiary education space in that state.
Bayelsa State Higher Education is the first University in Nigeria to operate a Student Loan Scheme.