The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) has launched a GH¢100 million endowment fund and a strategic plan to transform the institute into a centre of excellence in communication education in the country.

The Rector of the institute, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, who made this known, said the initiative, including the establishment of a digital media hub, was meant to revolutionise the training of communicators at the institution and attract more foreign students.

“We are commemorating our 60th anniversary with an ambitious plan to build a world-class digital media hub with leading-edge technology that will serve both local and international students, faculty and professionals.

“This hub will provide facilities for digital, audio-visual and online news and the most up-to-date graphics and advertising designs,” he added.

Durbar

Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo was addressing a durbar of the rank and file of GIJ and stakeholders to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the institute.

It brought together stalwarts in the media industry, members of the diplomatic corps and other stakeholders, such as the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Vice-Chancellors, Ghana (V-C,G).

Notable personalities such as the GJA President, Mr Roland Affail Monney; a former Chairman of the NMC, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, and a Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr George Andah, all graced the event, held on the theme: “Celebrating our past: Inspiring our future.”

Significance

Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo also said the endowment fund would feed on resources from alumni of the institute and other stakeholders.

He explained that the fund was meant for strategic projects to give students more practical training in communication.

The rector added that the fund would help the institute recruit more experienced faculty to bridge the gap between the lecture hall and industry.

He said the institute was also working towards completing structures at its new site at Dzorwulu “in the next few months”.

He entreated the government and other stakeholders to support the institute with more resources to complete the structures at the new site.

Way forward

The Chairman of the GIJ Council, Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, said even though the institute had paid its dues to national development, it would continue to strategise to remain relevant.

“We are wiser and more knowledgeable at 60 and hope to draw on the knowledge and wisdom, going forward, to strengthen our programmes.

We look forward to deepening the application of classroom theory to workplace skills in our training in areas such as laboratory assignments, work site internship programmes, as well as field research and practice,” he said.

The chairman also said the GIJ was repositioning itself to respond to the needs of emerging media by training students in social media and technology.

Commendation

In a speech read on her behalf, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, eulogised the GIJ for blazing the trail in communication education and producing professionals who had contributed immensely to national development.

She described the idea of a digital media hub as a step in the right direction, saying that it was the best way to make journalism and public relations relevant in the 21st century where technology was the enabler.

She called on GIJ to consider rolling out a political course to train people to communicate effectively, saying the institute must also lead the way in sensitising people to the emergence of fake news.