Matriculation Speech by Dr. Osei Darkwa, President of Ghana Technology University College on October, 19, 2013.
Members of GTUC Council present
GTUC Faculty and Staff present,
Proud Family Members, Guardians, and Friends of our Matriculants,
Members of the Press, and most of all
Our Proud Matriculants, Class of 2013, and 2015
I wish to take this opportunity to formally welcome you all, on behalf of the University Council, the Academic Board, faculty, staff and current students of this university college to our thirteenth matriculation ceremony.
This is the day you have all been waiting for. One long journey has ended, and another even more interesting journey is about to begin. We are delighted to have you join this special community
You are all GTUC students now and all of us are incredibly proud of you and are delighted to have you join this special community.
At this matriculation ceremony we formally welcome you into the GTUC community of scholars 460 new students, who’ve been admitted to pursue diploma, and degree level programmes. The break down is as follows:
Matriculation as you know by now is your stepping forward to announce your readiness to accept the challenges that comes with the pursuit of knowledge. To take upon yourself the responsibility, to uphold the name of GTUC in everything you do, both on and off campus, and through your own varied achievements, to bring your alma mater further honour and fame.
This ceremony provides an occasion for us as leaders of this institution, to reflect with you on the purpose and promise of your education here at GTUC.
This college is the beginning of your academic and professional career. As you know by now, we are a young but rapidly growing university. We are growing with you and gradually, we are putting the structures that will propel you to greater academic heights in place.
Class of 2013 and 2015, you are about to embark on a truly extraordinary journey that is certain to change you in profound ways. College is special for so many different reasons. For many of you, this is the first time in your life that you will be truly living independently. This is an opportunity to grow and learn as a person, to discover much about who you are, and of course, to make wonderful new friends.
You are here to add something important and valuable of your life. To become an engineer, an ICT guru, a business administrator, a professional, deserving of respect, and the good life that comes with good work and its rewards.
If you take your studies seriously, this purpose will be realized: you will become the professional that you dream to become.
You are here to develop your talents so that you can contribute in a meaningful way to the development of Ghana and Africa.
We know that countries such as Singapore, China and India, for example, have transformed their economies dramatically in the last twenty years, become significantly richer, while sub-Saharan Africa has not flourished, indeed, has become poorer.
There is urban poverty and rural poverty in Ghana and you cannot be in a Ghanaian city or a village and escape the marks of that poverty: hunger, illiteracy, and idleness.
Those nations that have achieved a new level of economic success have built their prosperity on certain foundations-the Green Revolution and the information revolution are two such foundations. The Green Revolution led to sustained food surpluses and eliminated the threat of starvation, especially in Asia. It raised farmers’ incomes and contributed to the decline in poverty. The Revolution made it possible for people to have access to better nutrition and a more balanced diet. For those living in rural areas, it created greater employment opportunities.
Today, we live in a global knowledge economy—where knowledge, learning communities, and information and communications technologies are the engines for social and economic development. The future of our continent depends upon our willingness to harness the new information and communication technologies to advance our development. This is the key that can open the doors of the new global economy and its benefits to us. A nation unable to join this new economic order, unable to harness the power of ICT is effectively locked out of the new global economy, and forced to remain a marginal player on the world economic stage. .
The question I ask you today is how can the knowledge that you’ll be acquiring here at GTUC help change the face of poverty and despair to income and hope?
In all your studies at this school, regardless of your programme of study, you will learn at Ghana Technology University College the secrets of the new ICT tools and technologies.
The expectation is that you will use what you learn here to make a difference in the lives of the people of this country and beyond, to help the people of this country become prosperous and healthy.
This is a challenge to you as future leaders of this country and as global citizens.
There will be many new things to learn and lots of challenges as you adjust to university life and study. Some of the most valuable lessons you will learn at GTUC will occur outside the classroom. We have a number of clubs and associations on campus; we encourage you to get involved in their activities.
You are likely to learn as much from such activities as you will from the classroom. Through your involvement with such on-campus associations, you will learn the value of teamwork, leadership, preparation, management, and getting people with diverse views to work together for a common purpose
We on our part will do all that we can to make sure you achieve your vision at this school.
The Latin phrase “Tuum Est” means It Is Up To You. This same phrase was echoed by the dying character in the movie “Saving Private Ryan” played by Tom Hanks when he aptly put it: “…it is up to you to Earn It.” Earn the honor of being an outstanding student at GTUC.
Up until now, your parents probably set rules about doing your homework or cleaning your room. Now, it is up to you to set your own rules, and to make your own decisions. It is up to you to decide how to use your time at GTUC; it is up to you to decide how hard you want to study; it is up to you to decide how much time you want to invest in your education; it I up to you to determine when you will relax; it is up to you to take charge of your education here at GTUC.
As in the gym, the people who succeed are those who work beyond their comfort zones, exercise harder every day, challenging their bodies and their strength of will. It is up to you to make a difference in your life. You are in charge of your destiny. Have faith and confidence in yourself. Trust yourself that your journey here will be successful.
Remember, Peter was able to walk on water because he trusted that he could. When he doubted himself for a second, he sank. Clearly heaven help those who help themselves. Efforts of the staff will be in vain unless you complement them through hard work and dedication to the purpose of your being here.
We know you have been prepared well by your parents, family, guardians, and friends. Many of your loved ones have literally sacrificed so that you may enjoy the privilege of a GTUC education. Honour their sacrifice by behaving responsibly, and making the most of this extraordinary opportunity.
To our newly admitted foreign students, we know you’ve come from different countries, and different cultures. Some of you may feel lost, overwhelmed, helpless, and isolated as you settle in your new environment.
You’ve left behind your country and everything else to start something most people would not dare to attempt. Making such a decision and following through on it usually requires courage, diligence, and self-confidence. Therefore, you should have the potential to deal successfully with the challenges your new life in Ghana and at GTUC presents to you. We are here to assist you to succeed.
Your course of study will be rigorous, but this is proper preparation for the tasks that await all of you in the wider world.
Martin Luther Kings Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. We want you to be critical thinkers at GTUC. We want you to be creative and innovative at GTUC. We want you to be big dreamers at GTTUC. We want the next big thing to come from GTUC. And, we will provide you with the tools to enable you achieve this vision.
Matriculants, the first group of students who were admitted to this university entered their names in a registry of students. Today, you join this company of scholars as you too, enter your names into the university’s register. It is a register of those who have come here to plumb the depths of knowledge and to add on to the ever-expanding understanding of our world and our lives.
Members of the Class of 2013 and 2015, your time has come. The next time you assemble together here, it will be for your graduation or commencement. On that day, we'll send you out to make a difference in the world.
I hope that you find your experience over these next months and years provocative and rewarding. Please know that we are here to serve you.
Welcome and congratulations!
Best wishes to you all.