The Institute of Distance Learning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has inaugurated its Takoradi City Campus at Kansaworodo, a suburb of Takoradi, to enable working class people, in particular, to upgrade themselves academically.
The campus project was financed from the university’s Internally Generated Fund (IGF) at a total cost of GH¢21,600,000.
At the campus-opening, Minister for Railways Development Joe Ghartey said: “This university will become a growth pole in the area; we will do our best to ensure that all necessary infrastructure is put in place”.
He pointed out that Sekondi-Takoradi is gradually becoming a centre of excellence in terms of education, and announced that the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) is also planning to establish its Learning Centre at ‘Railway Location’ in Sekondi.
He expressed joy at the job creation prospects such project offer to youth in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.
Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, announced that the university will start a Railway Engineering course in August this year.
He urged city authourities to construct the 10-kilometre road leading to the campus, adding that enrollment is expected to increase tremendously.
According to him, the KNUST will give four slots to students in the catchment area to be enrolled at the university every year, as well as offer employment opportunities.
He assured indigenes of Kansaworodo that KNUST will live up to expectations, urging families that have land in the area to release some for developmental projects.
The IDL is to assist workers add value to themselves without having to quit their jobs.
The centre is gradually shifting from undergraduate programmes to postgraduate ones, and it currently runs 42 postgraduate programmes.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area and chairman for the occasion, commended KNUST for establishing IDL in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
“There is a need for spatial planning of this place to serve as a growth pole; I hope it will be a centre of excellence if given the needed attention,” he said.
He encouraged chiefs to release consolidated land for proper planning, saying in some few years to come the satellite campus could become a fully-fledged university on its own.
Director of the distance learning institute, Prof. Isaac Kwame Dontwi, said establishment of the Takoradi campus is part of a grand plan by the institute to have its presence in all regional capitals.
“After operating for over six years as a faculty, and having moved through thick and thin in renting places, in 2011 management approved acquiring the campus to have our presence in all regional capitals,” he said.
“All our programmes are demand-driven; we have also introduced short courses which, we believe, will help the center to grow. And we will encourage individuals who want to further their studies to do so.”