Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has charged the youth, especially students at the University of Ghana, to be inspired by ideals of the late, astute Ghanaian lawyer and legislator, John Mensah Sarbah.
According to Dr. Bawumia, one of the guiding principles of the prominent nationalist in the Gold Coast era – to always think ahead – has shaped government’s pursuit of initiatives to address challenges confronting the country. The Mensah Sarbah vision, he asserted, is what drives government’s agenda for digitalisation
“A government and its people should always think ahead of their time and look to the future. This is a vision that has shaped my personality, compelling us all to play our part in building institutions that generate new thinking, new ideas and modernising political and economic governance. The Mensah Sarbah vision is what drives our agenda for digitalisation,” he said.
He added that his ideals also raise the issue of how to modernise the residential system to cope with increasing demand for tertiary education in the country, as well as how to deploy digitalisation or biometric technology to eliminate congestion, security breaches and unauthorised entry to university campuses and halls of residence.
Dr. Bawumia, who spoke at the launch of Sarbah Hall’s 60th anniversary at the University of Ghana, lauded efforts of the university and Mensah Sarbah Hall “for resolutely clinging to a residential system”.
He however bemoaned the waywardness, hooliganism and sometimes sheer criminality that sometimes persist on campus – and urged students to let the residential life instil the virtues of diligence, brotherhood and selfless service.
He said: “The sense of academic freedom in universities is sometimes mistaken for a licence to leave behind all courtesies and decorum instilled by guardians and the world out there. To many, university life is an excellent opportunity for uncontrolled deviation from social norms, and the assumption of freedoms without associated responsibilities”.
At all times, he said, a sound residential experience is not an end in itself but a catalyst driving sound academic output. He therefore called on residents of Sarbah Hall to continue to being a nursery for leadership, considering the several distinguished alumni produced during the last 60 years.
“Continue to pave the way for younger ones and set a good example for the next generation of students,” he said.
The year-long celebration is being held under the theme ‘Re-engineering quality residential services: Adopting technology, embracing partnerships’. Activities lined up for the celebration include public lectures, site-visits, health walks and screening, games, a dinner and awards night and Christian and Muslim thanksgivings.
The Hall’s Master, Dr. Roger Ayimbilla Atinga – also speaking at the ceremony, said 60 years in the life of every institution is a significant milestone worthy of celebration.
He applauded the role played by the Hall in shaping the lives of people who have passed through the facility over the decades.