Minister of Information Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has commended the management of the Islamic University College of Ghana (IUCG) for making university education accessible and affordable to students especially Muslims students. "Many people in our Muslim communities across the country are now able to access university
education due to your policy that you are here to make education accessible rather than for profit," he said.
"I congratulate you on achieving 16th years of offering excellent moral all round education to the people of Ghana. The Islamic university Ghana was established in 2001 and therefore it means that you have done 16 years of service to our nation as the only Islamic University in our country. We salute you and we say Ayeekoo," Mr. Mustapha Hamid.
Abdul-Hamid gave the commendation when he stood in for the Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at the 13th Graduation and 18th Matriculation ceremony of the IUCG last Saturday. It was on the theme: "Making University Education Accessible to All – The Role of IUCG, the Government and Civil Society."
Currently, Hamid said the Islamic University College of Ghana was the only private university whose fees were "really affordable, and that is very commendable. You are doing a good work in this regard and the government commends you highly." "Indeed, the President recognizes that education is the key to developing any nation. All the nations that we purport to emulate and want to be like and what somebody calls the envy list of Ghana (The Singapores, the Malaysias, the South Koreas) have all developed not because of mineral resources (gold, timber, bauxite, or diamond) but because they have developed their human resource. So really the human beings in any nation are its true resource and the means by which each country can develop," the minister stated.
It was the belief of the government, he added, that education ought to be made accessible to every Ghanaian from the lowest to the highest level. And therefore we commend the Islamic University college of Ghana highly for making this possible. Currently in this country you're the only private university whose fees are really affordable and that is very commendable.
Quality of graduates
Mr. Abdul-Hamid further observed that in spite of the challenges facing the IUCG, it had been able to train graduates who were very competitive in the marketplace.
He added that he had had personal encounters with many graduates from the university who were of no less quality than those from the other state universities.
"What makes you unique is the fact that you underline your educational training with moral values, with which we can develop our country, rather than raw knowledge," he posited.
The minister said that it was an indictment on all Ghanaians that the national capital, Accra, was reputed as one of the dirtiest cities in Africa or the world because of poor moral attitudes. "It is wrong for people to eat banana, oranges, and just leave them on the streets. If we are training young men and women who really value morality and ethics, we will not have a dirty city. We encourage the Islamic University to continue to make moral training a central part of its curriculum because it is only by so doing that we can wipe out corruption and train a generation of morally upright people who are committed to the development of our country," Abdul-Hamid urged.
He added that, "in doing so I ask the graduate of the university today to think not only what your nation can do for you but also as they say what you can also do for your nation." He charged the graduates to be innovative and creative to be able to survive in the 21st century. He emphasizes to the graduates that at the end of day they should learn what they have been taught in the University.
Abdul-Hamid noted that university education was universal and, therefore, it did not matter what course one did at a university, "what matters is the stuff you are made of and that is what employers look out for."
"In the 21st Century, employers are no longer looking for the courses that people read in the university. They are looking for the steel and character and the integrity and the knowledge that people are imbued with," Mr Abdul-Hamid stated.
Making reference to Dr. Erbynn speech that only 5% of intake has offered to take religious studies. "I must say that, I am a proud graduate of religious studies. I did a first degree major in Religious Studies at the University of Cape Coast, I did an Mphil Religious Studies from the University of Cape Coast, and about to terminated a PhD program also in Religious Studies," Mr. Abdul-Hamid stated.
He said "now he does not think that anybody finds me less efficient or that anybody finds anything deficient about me. And I believe that I am contributing my quota to national development." He urged people to take advantage that the Islamic University offers that is whether to enroll in religion, business or communication department is not what matters but the focal point is the moral training the Islamic University gives because that is the only thing that will stand a person out from everybody else in the world.
He commended the leadership of the school for its intake of 53 percent males and 47 percent females and expressed the hope that "in the next few years, you will be attaining a parity of 50 percent male and 50 percent female. Then you would be making a very big statement that Islamic education also has the woman at its centre."
The government, he said, was aware of all the challenges that the school faced in offering quality education to the people and gave an assurance that the government would offer the needed support to resolve all the challenges.
He extended his gratitude to Al-Mustapha International University for it continues support to the Islamic University all these years. In conclusion, the minister gave a piece of advice to the people and the graduands in particular that "The Mosque, the "Masjid" is the central piece of this university and it is not for nothing that a place of worship in Islam is called Al-Masjid rather than Muswallah. Because properly speaking it should have been called Muswallah (i.e. place of prayer) but it is called Masjid which means a place of sujuud (prostration). What sujuud (prostration) teaches you is humility, humility and knowledge is what will take you places."