The Faculty of Vocational Education (FVE) of the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) has moved the bar a notch higher in student assessment as it seeks to improve the practicality of programmes in the Faculty to reflect the University’s mandates. AAMUSTED is mandated, among others, to prepare entrepreneurs capable of establishing businesses to change the unemployment narrative saddling the nation currently.
The Faculty has dovetailed into some of its courses a requirement on students to produce and package innovative items for exhibition and assessment on examination days. On May 27, 2022, one-year top-up Master of Philosophy in Catering and Hospitality students exhibited various organic food products they had innovated as part of their Advanced Post-Harvest Technology and Management Course end of first semester examinations.
The assessment focused on critical areas like packaging, labeling, safety, presentation, and novelty. The Deans and the Heads of Departments selected mainly from other faculties of the University conducted the assessment.
The Dean of the FVE and lecturer of the Advanced Post-Harvest Technology and Management, Dr. Gilbert Owiah Sampson, explained, in the course of the assessment, that the FVE was exploring every means possible to stir up entrepreneurial drive in their students. He noted that AAMUSTED would be failing if its graduates would also end up in long queues for hardly available job openings like their colleagues from other universities.
The FVE’s move to get the students to start producing innovative items and packaging them to marketable standards, he said, is just one of the ways that the Faculty is grafting into its operations to realize the mandate of the University.
Hitherto, he explained that students would have learned and written the examinations, only listing the steps to produce the items but now, they have shifted to the production of the actual products for marks. He was very impressed with the products in the exhibitions and hoped that the students would take the necessary steps to bring them on the market.
The Assessors were highly impressed about the products on display. They commended the students for the packaging and the labeling of the various products.
One of the Assessors, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Communication Sciences (FECS), Dr. Samuel Adu Gyamfi, was happy about the extra efforts that the students made to package the products, saying they could compete favorably in the market.
His only advice to the students was that they send their products for necessary testing and approval by the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA) so they could produce them on a mass scale for sale.
Another one, the Head of the Academic Affairs Department, Dr. Charles Baba Campion, encouraged them to team up to source capital to produce their innovations for the market. Mr. Ficus Gyasi, Lecturer and Assessor, was also happy that the FVE had started such an initiative that would ultimately give meaning to the University’s mandate.
Some of the food products exhibited were special organic spices for seasoning chicken, fish, and drinks. There were egg-plant soup base, activated charcoal-pineapple-ginger-lemon drink, assorted tea made from hibiscus flower, pawpaw leaves, and lemongrass; coconut-rice-milk drink and soya beans foods like shito, milk, and coated nuts.