The University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa on Saturday, 27th February, 2021 held its maiden Matriculation for the first batch of students at the University’s School of Railways and Infrastructure Development, Essikado near Takoradi. The occasion was used to formally welcome fresh students into the School for the 2020/2021 academic year.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Richard Kwasi Amankwah recounted the processes leading to the establishment of the School of Railways and Infrastructure Development and acknowledged the role of all stakeholders. He said, the Hon Joe Ghartey (former Minister or Railways Development), was invited in October, 2017 as a Special Guest of Honour to the University’s Alumni Association’s Annual Lecture on the topic: “Ghana’s Railway Infrastructure Development: Challenges and Opportunities for the Minerals Industry in Ghana”. At the lecture, Hon Ghartey promised to ensure the release of the Railways Training School at Essikado to UMaT to be used as a campus. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was consequently signed on Tuesday, 15th May, 2018 at the Railways Training School, Essikado which led to the establishment of the School of Railways and Infrastructure Development.
The Vice Chancellor said the aim of the School is to help complement efforts of the Ministry of Railways Development and Ghana Railways Company Limited in the development of manpower for the railways sector and allied industries and also ensure the sustainable development of the railways sector. He then emphasised that all students would undertake a course in Introduction to Railways Engineering as part of the courses in their programmes to help them appreciate the relevance of the railways sector to national development.
According to Prof Amankwah, a total of 242 students, made up of 192 males and 50 females were admitted to the School for the 2020/2021 academic year. He added that the University has plans to increase student enrolment to approximately 5,000 in the next few years where the School would be made the College of Railways and Infrastructure Development with two or more Schools. He therefore called on the Government and industry partners to provide support in the development of the relevant human capital towards nation building.
The fresh students were admitted into the following programmes in the School:
- BSc Mechanical Engineering;
- BSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering;
- BSc Computer Science and Engineering;
- BSc Geomatic Engineering;
- BSc Geological Engineering; and
- BSc Environmental and Safety Engineering.
The Vice Chancellor, in his address also hinted that the University has intentions to run postgraduate programmes in MSc Engineering Management and Master of Business and Technology Management with specialisation in the following areas:
- Supply Chain Management,
- Strategic Human Resources Management,
- Finance and Investment and
- Management Information
In addition, certificate programmes in Oil and Well Cementing Technology, Natural Gas Technology, Drilling Fluids Technology, Reservoir Management, Survey and Mapping, Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Studies would be run to offer opportunity to the residents of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis and its environs.
A section of the students singing the University Anthem
Prof Richard K. Amankwah noted that COVID 19 has affected academic work globally and to curb the spread of the virus, the University has put in place a virtual learning environment (VLE) at its campuses to reduce person to person contact in teaching and learning. He added that face-to-face interactions were only held when deemed necessary in critical areas where it was required to help students to firmly grasp some concepts. He therefore advised the students and all members of the University community to adhere strictly to all COVID 19 protocols for the safety of all. Prof Amankwah advised the students to be of good behaviour, conform to the regulations and rules of the University, and personalize the core values of the University.
In attendance to the Matriculation ceremony were Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, the Paramount Chief of Essikado, the Paramount Queen of Essikado, the representative of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Chief Executive, the Chief Engineer of Ghana Railways Company and some members of Essikado and Ketan traditional areas.
A section of dignitaries at the Matriculation programme
Source: T. B. Eshun
University Relations Office, UMaT