A cross-section of visual arts students in the Ashanti Region have welcomed the introduction of the pre-engineering programme as an opportunity to express their creative skills.
According to them, the programme offers a unique opportunity for them to correct the erroneous impression that Visual Arts is meant for those who are academically weak.
Some of the students who are part of the first batch of students scheduled to begin the one-year course this month, praised the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum for the innovative initiative.
They said the Minister has proven to be a valuable asset since joining the Ministry because his vision and policies are creating opportunities for Ghanaian students, especially the less privileged and those perceived to be academically weak.
“Apart from playing instrumental role in the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy which has opened up secondary education to every eligible Ghanaian child, Dr. Adutwum is also credited for spearheading several initiatives that are transforming lives across the country”, they acknowledged.
The one-year programme is designed to train and prepare some secondary school graduates without science backgrounds for enrollment into Bachelor of Science in Engineering courses at the university.
It seeks to open doors to non-science students, especially Visual Arts students who have the desire and possess the ability and have creative minds to be trained as innovative and creative engineers to drive industrialization in the country.
The programme is also designed in accordance with the Education Strategic Plan 2001-2030 which targets 60 per cent enrollment of students in tertiary education pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
The first batch of students for the programme are expected to commence their studies at the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT) and the Pentecost University.
The students reveal they have what it takes to be engineers just like their colleagues in the science disciplines because of their creativity but have always been denied the opportunity.
They, therefore, commended the Education Minister for believing in Visual Arts students despite the general perception that they were dumb and pledged to justify the opportunity given them.
Headmaster of Kumasi Anglican Senior High School, Rev. Canon Francis Sencherey said it is a refreshing development that would benefit a lot of students who are denied the chance to pursue engineering despite having creative skills.
He commended the Minister for the bold initiative and called on Ghanaians to
rally behind him to extend the programme to more universities to enable many students to access the programme.