The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has selected the University of Education, Winneba, to co-host the UN SDSN in Ghana.
The decision by the intergovernmental body responsible for maintaining international peace and security among other things was arrived at because of the competence and array of expertise at the disposal of the Winneba based University led by Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni.
UEW as a hosting institution, will provide office space and a secretariat within the University premises in Winneba to establish the Chapter.
In addition, UEW will provide the necessary support to the SDSN Secretariat.
The UEW, representing Ghana, was selected alongside two other countries, Morocco and Turkey, by the UN SDSN to spearhead the development of a curriculum framework following which it would be replicated in other countries.
This was revealed by the Executive Director of Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA), Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, when his outfit, on Tuesday, entered into a partnership deal with the UEW by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a curriculum on the SDGs for the West African nation.
Per the dictates of the agreement, UEW and MPA will build on their comparative strengths to engage in policy research, analysis, and advocacy, especially, in the areas related to sustainable development.
The collaboration will among other things, seek to:
1. Facilitate the development of a curriculum framework to integrate all the 17 SDGs and targets into tertiary education in Ghana through teaching and learning at all the colleges of the university;
2. Develop an SDGs-based Programme for students, NGOs, Executive Directors and Government Operatives;
3. Support policy research and analysis in relation to Sustainable Development Policy Center of Millennium Promise Alliance; and
4. Jointly mobilize resources for research work emanating from the partnership.
Mr. Nsarko, who initialed the MoU on behalf of his institution, said “This is a dream come through. Ghana is looking up to the University of Education, Winneba, to drive the SDGs. There is one thing knowing SDGs and there is another thing – living it and implementing it. Therefore, with our involvement in the development of a curriculum as a nation is a pride to the nation and the fact that the UEW was identified to play this important role tells you that our educational system has been recognized”.
He added “The World Bank recently released a report which indicated that we are in learning crisis. This means that our educational system is not equipping people with the knowledge that they desire to be able to live the expected life. Therefore, casting the net and identifying Ghana as the destination where they would want to experiment – nobody will go to a place where they know is going to fail and then would want to identify with such a country which is a failure. Coming here endorses the fact that there has been a recognition for our efforts in our educational sector; there has been efforts in our concerted efforts towards having a University hub that trains teachers at all levels; and there is a recognition for our contribution towards the curriculum development”
According to him, Ghana stands to benefit immensely from the partnership deal, stressing that “education will help change and shape the mindset of the people towards doing things that will help eliminate poverty”.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UEW, Rev. Fr. Prof. Afful-Broni who also signed the deal on behalf of UEW at a ceremony held on the North Campus of the university said “We are very determined to rub shoulders with the big shots like Columbia University. We are very happy to identify with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which has been transformed into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have six good campuses across the country and God-willing we are going add another five this year. So UEW is in a very prominent position for the socioeconomic development of the nation because we are poised and charged with the responsibility of enlightening the minds of the people so that it will affect every activity of the people of Ghana”.
According to him, once the SDGs are attained, the living standards of the people will greatly be improved, cautioning that “if we don’t do something to help, our surveyors, computers engineers, doctors and other professionals will all run away to another country where living standards are very high”.
The project is expected to be completed within twelve months following which it will be implemented by Morocco and Turkey before scaling it up for other countries to implement.