Accra, April 20, GNA- Professor Patrick Dunne, Founder of the Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA), has called for women to be given leadership opportunities to enhance faculty in universities.
‘‘I think the desire to make Ghana, a hub for tertiary education in the region is very strong, but you can’t do that if you do not have the faculty and don’t give more opportunities to women. If you can give them more opportunity, you will have more faculty more quickly than if you do not,’’ he said.
Prof Dunne made the call on the side-lines of the launch of ESSA, which brought together stakeholders in the education sector, including educators, students, policy makers and funders across the sub-Saharan Africa, on Wednesday in Accra.
A study in 2019 shows that eight per cent of professors in universities in Ghana are women and in a similar study; only seven per cent of women are Vice Chancellors.
In Nigeria, research reveals that 17 per cent of Principal Officers are women.
Africa is said to be facing a shortage of academic teaching and research staff, while more young people are enrolling in higher education.
ESSA is a charity organisation that supports educators, policy makers, employers, the youth and investors to use data and evidence to drive their decisions, with support from local researchers and civil society to improve education in sub-Saharan Africa.
Prof Dunne noted that it was easy for women to be encouraged when they saw other women in leadership roles, hence, the need to increase the mentoring pool to help in their development.
‘‘You have to get more women believing they can do a PhD, though culturally, there are some challenges around that,’’Prof Dunne stated.
The Founder appealed to men to sponsor and support mentoring women and underscored the need to provide women with context specific development programmes where there would be case studies from the institutions that they were trying to work with and lead.
Prof Goski Alabi. President of the Laweh University College, said the practices and competencies for focus for faculty must be enhanced to include skills such as teaching and learning, research, grant management and other soft skills.
She said those skills were currently not part of requirements to becoming an academic in the country.
Prof Alabi noted that the national capacity for producing doctoral graduates in the universities in the country were inadequate and that the country required five times more faculty to meet the growing numbers of students.
Mr Rudolf Ampofo, Co-Country Lead, EdTech Hub, Ghana, underscored the need for data in the education sector for effective decision making.
By Priscilla Oye Ofori/ Grace Ampomaa, GNA