The Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) allowed only a few hundred fresh students to be physically present at the Kumasi Campus Ceremonial Grounds when the University held its maiden Intensive Pre-Academic Orientation Programme (IPOP) for the freshmen on January 13, 2021.
That was to safeguard both students and staff from becoming victims of the marauding COVID-19 pandemic. AAMUSTED maintains an uncompromising stance in the fight against the Corona Virus spread. It has been an ardent adherent to the relevant protocols to the letter under all circumstances.
However, it made several alternative arrangements to ensure that all the fresh students derived maximum benefit from the orientation ceremony even if they could not be physically present.
Among the alternative arrangements were the three sessions it organised the orientation for different categories of students on different days, the live-streaming of the ceremony on the University’s far-reaching radio station (MYND FM 105.1MHz), and on its various social media handles including Facebook, and YouTube, and the display of vital information on notice boards of the university to help the freshmen.
The Orientations were held on January 13, 2021 (Fresh Regular Students); January 15, 2021 (Fresh Evening and Weekend Students); and January 18, 2021 (Fresh Postgraduate Students).
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of AAMUSTED, Prof. Frederick K. Sarfo, in his welcome remarks to the students, was explicit in his caution to the students to be conscious about their safety and well-being in this COVID-19 era.
“The University has provided adequate facilities at your lecture areas and halls of residence to augment your own preparedness to observe all the COVID-19 protocols. COVID-19 is real; do well to abide by all directives the University had made available via various media, including our campus radio station and on notice boards,” he stressed.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in sharp view, Prof. Sarfo announced that the University had readied itself adequately to implement a blended learning approach under which a greater portion of the time for teaching would be devoted to face-to-face and others via electronic/online media using MOODLE Learning Management System (LMS).
Prof. Sarfo indicated that all the AAMUSTED lecturers are professionally-trained educationists who are unique for the essential pedagogical knowledge and skills they possess.
That he said distinguishes them from lecturers of other sister universities and gives credence to the preparedness of AAMUSTED to train students to develop expertise in respective specialisations and the area of entrepreneurship.
He said such expertise was necessary to be success-guaranteed in the world of work, besides enabling them to create their own businesses after school.
He asked the students to grasp the reality that tertiary education is self and peer-dependent learning and not a teacher-dependent mode of acquiring knowledge.
Therefore, he asked the students to study diligently and to endeavour to maximise all the academic facilities at their disposal in the University for their good. He also advised them against all social ills, including occultism, stealing, homosexuality, drug and other substance abuse, and reminded them that only hard work yielded positive results.
Speaking on the topic – the role of Management in providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning – the Acting Registrar, Mr. Michael Kofi Adu, assured the students of the University’s commitment to provide all necessary resources to enable them to achieve their aspirations and career goals.
For his part, the Vice Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Philip Oti-Agyen, who chaired the programme, gave a detailed history (full of achievements) of the Late Akenten Appiah-Menka, the man after whom the University has been named, and asked the students to be proud to be associated with such an achiever.
He also explained that the autonomous status and name of the new University – AAMUSTED – neither changes the programmes nor the contents of courses that the former Kumasi and Asante Mampong Campuses of UEW originally offer.
“We are still a teacher-training university that focuses on TVET. Our new status has rather given us the added impetus to be versatile with our programmes and rapidly expand to improve our services to you, our cherished students and all future candidates, who might be seeking admission to this University,” he stressed.
Topics treated were Channels of Communication, Mr. Richard K. Mprah, Head of Human Resource; Academic Services, Dr. Charles Baba Campion, Head, Academic Affairs; Sharpening your Academic Skills at the University, Prof. Isaac Boateng, Dean, Faculty of Business Education (FBE); Medical Examination and Health Services, Dr. Ato Kwamena Sagoe, Chief Medical Officer; Procedure for paying fees, Mr. Geoffrey Mensah, Head of Finance; and Semester and Course Credit System, Dr. Gilbert Owiah Sampson, Dean, Faculty of Vocational Education (FVE), among others.