Professor William Otoo Ellis, former Vice Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has advised university students to engage more in community outreach programs.
He said universities were established to have a positive impact on society and praised the KNUST Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program (MCFSP), which had carried out various social transformation projects in communities over the years.
The projects, relating to education, health, water and sanitation, hygiene, among others, were financed from the beneficiary students’ own resources.
Professor Ellis, speaking at the commemoration of this year’s ‘Scholars’ Day of Service‘ in Kotei-Deduako, Oforikrom Municipality of the Ashanti Region, said: “It is good that the students have decided to give back to society. »
A core part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is the return component – an initiative that gives Scholars the opportunity to be of service to their communities through volunteerism as well as other forms of experiential learning. .
Each year, Mastercard Foundation Scholars around the world come together to celebrate “Huduma Day,” a day dedicated to community service.
As part of this year’s event, KNUST scholarship recipients interacted with students from Life Community Special Vocational School, a training institute for people with intellectual disabilities in Deduako.
The scholarship recipients had raised an amount of US$30,000 to undertake a few projects at the institution.
They include general renovations to the school, supply, installation and housing of a maize grinding machine, paving of walkways and play areas.
The projects were jointly inaugurated on Monday, October 10 this year by the authorities of KNUST, the Municipal Assembly of Oforikrom, the Municipal Directorate of Education, as well as the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).
Professor Ellis, who chairs the KNUST Executive Advisory Board of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, advised students to consider the act of volunteering as an essential part of their educational life.
Through such humanitarian activities, students would have the opportunity to contribute significantly to building up society for the better, he noted.
The former vice-chancellor suggested strengthening the partnership between the Life Community special vocational school and the university, saying this was an area the university could focus on as it worked to support the establishment .
Ms. Rita Akosua Dickson, Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, in a message delivered on her behalf, congratulated the fellows for their leadership.
Mr. Joseph Stanley Mwini, Principal of the school, commended the program manager, Professor Kofi Ohene Owusu Daaku, for his commitment to seeing the institution adequately resourced to meet the training needs of special students.