Plans are underway for the introduction of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), the Rector of the institute, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, has hinted.
The documentation process is already in progress as part of the preparation towards the commencement of the programme.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo expressed the hope that by the end of the year, the institute would have submitted all the relevant documentation together with the line of new programmes to be run to the National Accreditation Board (NAB).
In an interview in Accra on plans towards running PhD programmes, he said tentatively in two years from now, the institute would rollout the MPhil programme.
“In the next two years, we hope to get the accreditation for our MPhil programmes,” Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said, explaining that by the time the third batch graduated, the institute would have been fully prepared to begin its PhD programmes.
He said for now there were not enough staff with the requisite skills to supervise the PhD students and that explained why the institute was beginning with the MPhil to enable the institute to prepare its products adequately.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said the introduction of PhD programmes was part of the plans, “but as you well know, to set up a PhD programme, you need the requisite staff because apart from the course materials that you have to put together, you need the staff.
“So, we need to build up our staff profile, which we have been doing, not just increasing the number of staff, but staff with PhD, so that we can introduce the PhD programme. For now, we do not have the requisite staff,” the Rector explained.
Concerns of students
Speaking on the threat of some students of the institute to demonstrate against the increase in school fees, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said the students should engage management on the issue, explaining that he already had discussions with the executive of the SRC on the matter only for those students to still go ahead to issue a statement which was now in the media.
The group, calling itself Concerned Tertiary Students of GIJ (CTSG), had called on the management and administrative bodies of tertiary institutions to rescind their decision to increase fees for the 2020/2021 academic year.
A statement jointly signed and issued by Mr. Mohammed Samira Ibn Moro and Efo Korku Mawutor as convenor and member respectively, said the GIJ and the University of Ghana were facing a five per cent and 12 per cent respective fee increment for the upcoming 2020/2021 academic year with hints of increment from other tertiary institutions.
Engaging with management
But Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said if the students had done their homework well, they would have known that GIJ as a public institution, did not increase school fees.
He said since 2016, there had not been any increase of fees in the institute even though other public tertiary institutions did.
“As we all know, since 2016, prices of everything, including water and electricity, have gone up but we have been operating with same fees,” he explained, adding that in 2019, the government fixed five per cent fee increase, which was approved by Parliament.
The Rector explained that ordinarily, the new fees would have been applicable for 2019/2020 academic year, but after discussions with the student leadership, “it was agreed that because of the time, we have to let it go and to begin charging for the 2020/2021 academic year.”
On negative news affecting the institute, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo expressed concern that students that the institute trained, turned out “to denigrate the very institute that gave you your certificate.”
“The students themselves need to understand that you cannot denigrate the institution that gave you your certificate and think it is okay.
“This institution that you denigrating can have a backlash on you because if you created the impression that the institution that has given you a certificate is so bad and yet, you are using that same certificate to go and look for a job, surely it will reflect on you,” the rector advised products of the institute.