IMANI Ghana expends so much energy and effort on scrutinizing the work of public sector institutions because unlike some other observers we do not believe that a significant transformation of this country can be possible without a root and stem overhaul of the public sector.
Our constant criticism of the conduct of certain public institutions is therefore the result of disappointment rather than scorn. We believe strongly that were these institutions to be offered strong leadership and direction so that they can focus on rule of law, competent and minimal bureaucracy, and the transparent provision of public goods, such as security of life and property, sound regulation and the enforcement of quality standards, Ghana would be much better off.
To be candid, without strong public sector leadership, the rusty mantra of 'private sector as the engine of growth' will remain just that: a tired slogan.
It is not only that weak public sector leadership forgoes opportunities for growth and development, it actually also gets in the way of private sector and civil society and undermines the efforts of entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers of all hues.
However, basic human psychology is such that scrutiny and criticism alone are not sufficient springs of good conduct. Measured, and purposeful, praise can sometimes be used to even more powerful effect to motivate those on the right path, to shine a light on positive developments, to erect powerful role models for the guidance of the rest of society, and to serve as a sharp contrast to beahaviours considered detrimental to the country's progress.
That is why we launched our 'Top 5 Public Leaders of the Year' list in 2010.
Since focusing on this issue over the last 3 years, of what is it that makes some leaders in the state sector adopt a transformational posture while some fail, we have learnt a lot about the challenges such leaders face in maintaining the course of reform.
Some of the leaders we selected for inclusion in the early recognition lists have since then been unable to resist the lure of mediocrity. But that was to be expected. The Top 5 list is not a 'lifetime achievement index'. It is an advocacy tool to support on-going reform and to boost the stature of those pursuing those reforms in the here and now. It is unashamedly current in its emphasis and agenda.
Should we change this approach?
Certainly not in this 2012 edition of the Top 5 List. We are still convinced that rather than make this an 'awards program', it should continue in its current nature as an advocacy tool, to fuel reforms facing resistance, and to bolster the position of those engaged in a transformational agenda, thus spurring wider reform of the public sector.
So, distinguished readers, there you have it: the 2012 Top 5 Most Inspirational Public Sector Leaders.
- Professor Joshua Alabi
Vice Chancellor, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA)
Barely a year ago, Parliament passed the University of Professional Studies Act. What was then the Institute of Professional Studies was overnight admitted into the prestigious ranks of the country's public universities.
This could have been the highlight of Professor Alabi's tenure at the Institute. He had been appointed three and a half years prior to the change of status, and had been responsible for shepherding the process past sceptical Parliamentarians from all sides of the political divide worried about the 'lack of focus on core mandate' that has become the bane of many of Ghana's public universities.
But Professor Alabi, whose first term of office came to an end in January of this year, can point to more than one highlight in his term. Having worked for about two decades prior to his appointment to the position of Rector, he demonstrated very early on a keen eye for spotting the institute's assets and unique value propositions. As a specialist school in accounting and management, he immediately realised that the institute had a competitive edge over the traditional science and humanities universities in Ghana that were busy piling up courses in business disciplines. He charged into the business education space with a vengeance, investing appropriately in facilities and adjunct faculty to capture a new customer base, those eager to set up on their own. This freed the University from the excessive reliance on the pool of public servants looking for promotion, a pool fiercely targeted by the likes of Legon and GIMPA.
UPSA's post-graduate program is steadily rising in stature, and more courses are passing successfully under the sharp scalpel of the National Accreditation Board. This year, IMANI believes that Professor Joshua Alabi deserves the top spot in its public sector rankings for his quiet, sturdy, and persistent focus on utilising the resources of UPS with a shrewd emphasis on returns and a long-term goal of sustainable excellence. Given the fiscal recklessness we have seen in parts of the public sector this year, this attitude is worth celebrating.
There is of course more to do at UPSA. Curriculum design could receive more attention. Institutional governance could do with a facelift. Student welfare and alumni relations can still be improved, but all in all, comparing the present with what Professor Alabi came to meet, we can confidently applaud him for remarkable leadership in the face of general constraints.
- The Graphic Communications Group
With its household-name brands, such as the Daily Graphic and the Weekend Mirror, the Graphic Communications Group has long been a prominent fixture of the country's media landscape. But rarely have Ghanaians paused to consider the management and systems excellence responsible for the staying power of these publications.
Despite fierce competition in the heavily depressed packaging industry in Ghana, Graphic Packaging, the Group's industrial arm, managed to reduce year on year losses by over 90% during the last financial year for which independently audited results are available.
Graphic Communications has shown consistently that it has one of the most advanced internal controls and preventive structures among corporate organisations in the country by regularly presenting robust accounts to internal and external auditors. For a public corporation, this dedication to world-class corporate governance is remarkable, and certainly commendable. For this reason the Group takes second spot on our 2012 rankings.
- Dr. Kofi Mbiah
Chief Executive, Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA)
Given all the hassle Ghanaians go through at our ports due to arbitrary and chaotic clearance procedures, despite years of costly IT-based and other reforms, it will come to some as a surprise that the winner of the third slot on our 2012 Public Sector rankings is someone from the country's maritime leadership.
But it is precisely because we want to fix the spotlight on these unacceptable conditions at our ports - the corruption, inefficiency, arbitrariness, abuse of discretion, weak systems, etc. - that we want to acknowledge Dr. Kofi Mbiah as one of the few individuals working to bring some decency into maritime trade affairs in this country.
While the GSA does not play a major role in the more chaotic part of the sector: the goods clearance process, since it is primarily an executive agency representing the interests of cargo handlers and shippers, nevertheless, the GSA's drive, under Dr. Mbiah's leadership, to introduce technical and service quality standards stands out like a beacon on the shores of troubled waters.
- The Driver & Vehicles Licensing Authority
The DVLA wins the fourth spot in this year's rankings primarily because of success in one major reform: the outsourcing of some of the vehicle assessment and testing processes to more efficient external garages, a development that has in no mean fashion eased the horrendous burden placed on motorists in this country in complying with our rickety road traffic regulations.
The current DVLA deserves to be acknowledged for taking this bold step after years of foot-dragging at the agency on outsourcing matters. A lot remains to be done to improve those functions that the agency still performs, such as license plate registration. Motorists cannot continue to be the butt of weak service standards.
But the successful outsourcing effort shows clearly what can be done when public sector activities are professionalised. The hope in highlighting this here is that other agencies, such as the Passport Office, will take note.
- The Frontline Personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS)
Despite persisting weaknesses in Ghana's fire management system, frontline staff of the Ghana Fire Service continues to risk their lives daily to fight the infernos raging across Ghana in sharp succession.
With limited gear and equipment, personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service have increasingly shown a regimental discipline in taking on mighty blazes, all the more difficult to manage because of the tropical heat.
Unlike was the case some years ago, response times are almost within acceptable limits for a good proportion of incidents reported. Though GNFS' personnel must still improvise all the time, diligent observers have recorded an impressive improvement in the tactical approach used by personnel in navigating cramped incident sites as well as in locating sources of water, including in some instances even using private water tankers during moments of desperation.
|IPS TRAINS FACULTY MEMBERS ON QUALITY OF ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT
Academic Staff of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) attended a three-day Training Workshop on Quality of Academic Assessment from the 13th-15th July, 2011. The aim of the Workshop was to enhance the knowledge of Academic Staff on the principles of assessment, with live cases of good and bad practices. The Training Workshop is part of the University’s effort at ensuring improvement in the quality of Teaching and Learning. This is in line with the University’s shift from teacher-dependent practices to a student-centred approach.
The University has developed a concept called Teaching and Learning Outcome Deployment (TLOD) to manage the quality of Teaching and Learning. This concept is based on the “Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate (ADDIE)” Instructional Design Standards, the Blooms Taxonomy and Principles of Course Preparation.
The University has developed templates and processes for the design, development and implementation of teaching and learning outcomes. The implementation component entails teaching of developed courses based on standardized teaching and learning outcomes and plans. An additional facility, the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS), serves as a platform to support traditional face-to-face teaching and learning. The LMS is a mobile and web-based technology that allows students of the University to access teaching and learning materials online on- and off-campus. It also allows students to interact with course facilitators outside the lecture room. IPS is among the first higher education institutions in Ghana to use Moodle for teaching and learning. Currently, Moodle is used extensively in the School of Research and Graduate Studies (SORAGS) and is being piloted at the Undergraduate Level.
The Evaluation component entails course assessment, monitoring of teaching plans, and course appraisals. The University has developed an Online Examination System (OES) to support assessments of large class sizes. One of the requirements for the enhancement of quality of academic assessments is training in course assessments, for which reason this Training Workshop was organized.
The Workshop started with an overview presentation on the IPS Learning Management System (LMS) and the Online Examination System (OES). Vital issues on assessment highlighted at the Workshop include; principles of course achievement testing/assessment, the construction of true and false tests, short answer test, tests involving calculations, essay-type tests as well as preparation of marking schemes and administration of achievements tests.
The Lead Facilitator of the Workshop, organized at the SORAGS of IPS, was Professor Y.K.A Etsey of the Department of Educational Foundations, University of Cape Coast. He was supported by the Rev. Mrs. Goski Alabi, the Dean of SORAGS and Mr. Edwin Ayernor, the Systems Administrator.
The keynote address at the Opening Ceremony was given by the Vice chancellor of the University, Professor Joshua Alabi, who encouraged all Academic Staff to participate actively in the Workshop to improve the quality of assessment in the University. Other Management staff present included the Pro-Vice chancellor, the Registrar and the Director of Academic Affairs.
IPS is one of five higher education institutions selected for the Europe-Africa Quality Connect Project, which aims primarily at enhancing academic quality assurance practices in higher education institutions in Africa.
21st July 2011
|PROF. JOSHUA ALABI BECOMES A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS
Prof. Joshua Alabi, Vice chancellor of The University of Professional Studies was inducted as a member of Executive Committee and chair of the West African Region of the International Association of University President at the just ended 17th Triennial Congress in New York.
The International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) is an association of university chief executives from higher education institutions around the world. Membership is limited to those individuals who serve as presidents, rectors or vice-chancellors at regionally accredited colleges or universities.
IAUP was founded in 1964 and has continued to strive for excellence in the following:
- to increase the exchange of experiences, levels of collaboration and networking between university leaders.
- to provide a well informed forum for university leaders throughout the world.
- to contribute to a worldwide vision of higher education.
- to strengthen the international mission of institutions throughout the world.
- to make every effort for the voice of educational leaders to be heard.
- to support sustainable development in a context of global competency.
- to promote peace and international understanding through education.
IAUP is a NGO (Non Governmental Organization) holding the highest (ECOSOC) consultation rights at the United Nations and formal consultation rights with UNESCO.
The primary purpose is to strengthen the international mission and quality of education of these institutions in an increasingly interdependent world, and to promote global awareness and competence as well as peace and international understanding through education. It is a unique worldwide platform that facilitates the exchange of professional experience through conferences, seminars, publications, and commissions.
IAUP believes the best approach to achieve its aims are to:
- be independent of all ideological and political interests. contribute to international
dialogue, tolerance and understanding in the promotion of international justice,
-operation and peace; and
- continue giving positive and creative support to its members, by providing an
active global network and forum specifically for the heads of universities in which they can: share their valuable experiences and outcomes;
- contribute towards the development of universities in economically deprived regions throughout the world;
- respond to the need to widen access to university for students from disadvantaged backgrounds;
- help to introduce new qualitative developments in the wider university sector;
- extend and enhance the international dimension of their universities; and
- ensure that universities continue to support and reinforce cultural diversities that are vital for sustaining the development of personal identities, social cohension and human creativity.
The IAUP was founded in 1964 by university leaders from the US, South Korea, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Liberia, who conceived the need for creation of a worldwide organisation that would facilitate communication among higher education leaders from various countries, promoting friendship and collaboration between them. The inaugural IAUP conference was held in Oxford, England in June 1965, with the participation of about 120 representatives of universities from 21 countries. Over the years, IAUP has contributed to the strengthening of the international mission and quality of education of its member institutions and has grown to become an association of around 600 members from over 100 countries. The rich series of academic events and activities of IAUP have drawn the attention and respect of many world leaders. Lleaders have personally attended IAUP events through its history:President Bill Clinton of the United States; Mr. Chung Hee Park, President of Korea; President Tubman of Liberia; His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran and Queen Farah; Mr. Rodrigo Carazo Odio, President of Costa Rica; His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand; Mr. Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, President of Mexico; His Majesty King Juan Carlos, of Spain and Queen Sofia; His Majesty Prince Takamado and Princess Takamado of Japan; His Majesty Albert II, King of the Belgians; His Excellency Peter Hollingworth, Governor-General of Commonwealth of Australia. Also, Her Majesty Princess Chulaborn of Thailand; Prime Minister Toshio Kaifu of Japan; Prime Minister J.L Dehaene of Belgium; Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, President of Rumania; Former Prime Ministers Harold Wilson of Great Britain; Prem Tinsulanonda of Thailand; G. Fitzgerald of Ireland, M. Eyskens of Belgium; Dr. Federico Mayor, Director General of UNESCO; J.M Gil Robles, President of the European Parliament; HRH Princess Maha Chakri Siridhorn of Thailand; Former President Fidel Ramos, of Philippines; Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Romos-Horta of East Timor; Dr. Jane Goodall, of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN messenger for Peace, among many distinguished personalities.
24th June, 2011
|CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW STUDENTS HOSTEL BEGINS
The construction of the SRC/Alabi Hostels begins after the project site was handed over to the contractor, Top International Engineering Ltd, on 16th June, 2011.
The handing-over ceremony took place at the project site, located at the eastern end of the University of Ghana, near the Institute of Languages. It was attended by the Pro-Vice chancellor, the Registrar, the Director of Academic Affairs, the Dean of the Evening School, the Acting Director of Public Relations and the Physical Development Officer on one hand and representatives from Top International Engineering and Phase 2 Consultants & Contracts Ltd – the Project Consultants.
The SRC/Alabi Hostels is expected to be completed in three years and would accommodate over 1000 students. The 8 – Level hostel, the first to be constructed by the University of Professional Studies, is being funded by the Amalbank on build – and – transfer basis. The Pro-Vice chancellor, Mr. S. T. Akrobo presented the handing-over documents to the Deputy Managing-Director of Top International, Mr. Duan-Dezhi, who also received one set of the hostel drawings from the Registrar, Dr. Seidu Mustapha. The Engineer of Phase 2 Consultants & Contracts Ltd., Mr. David Tetteh, presented the Site Certificate to Mr. Duan Dezhi, who in turn presented it to the Pro-Rector to mark the end of the handing–over ceremony.
IPS is currently undertaking massive infrastructural developments with the construction of a lecture hall complex, a library and a modern administration block, all equipped with facilities to cater for physically-challenged persons.
20th June, 2011
|IPS AND UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN SIGN MoU
The University of Professional Studies has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria, a prestigious university ranked first among all Nigerian Universities. The agreement, which was signed on the 20th of April 2011 at the Graduate School of IPS, will mutually benefit both institutions.
The Vice-Chancellor of Ilorin University, Professor Is-haq Olanrewaju Oleyede commended the University of Professional Studies for its steady growth within a relatively short period. A feat, which according to him was achieved through vision and teamwork under the leadership of Professor Joshua Alabi.
He added that the academic and professional nature of IPS makes it a unique university and an appropriate partner in the provision of higher education. Professor Oleyede noted that the low ranking of African universities on the recent World University Rankings should not be allowed to instill a sense of low self esteem sinces the sources of such studies are sometimes questionable.
The Vice chancellor of IPS, Professor Joshua Alabi observed that IPS will tap from the knowledge base and oil experience of Nigeria through Ilorin University, to run oil related programmes in Accounting and Management with emphasis on graduate programmes.
The agreement will benefit the two insitutions in areas such as distant education, exchange internship opportunities for students, joint research cooperation, curriculum development, joint supervision of post graduate projects and thesis, and so on.
In addition, the IPS Journal of Business Research (JBR) will serve as a platform for the dissemination of research findings in both institutions.
The University of Professional Studies was granted a presidential charter which gave it a fully fledged university status in September, 2008.
21st April 2011