The Ambassador of Lebanon to Ghana, Mr Maher Kheir, has challenged students of UniMAC-GIJ to think outside the box and strive for academic excellence to make their education count.
The Lebanese diplomat said the evolving challenges confronting today’s world required expert knowledge to offer solutions. He, therefore, urged the students to look beyond just passing their academic examinations and sharpen their problem-solving skills to make meaningful contributions to society. He was speaking at a ceremony at which the Lebanese community in Ghana awarded scholarships to 15 students at the GIJ campus of the University of Media, Arts and Communications (UniMAC-GIJ).
Mr Kheir urged the university in its new phase to continue to produce graduates who would be relevant in the marketplace. “The world is evolving very fast and so are the challenges of men. Many countries, including Lebanon, are experiencing desperate times which call for appropriate measures, hence it is necessary for institutions of higher learning like UniMAC to innovate and provide education that offers practical solutions to current problems,” he said.
He said communication and arts were bridges that linked people and nations together, thereby playing a critical role in national development. “Media, arts and communication are very powerful tools that can shape any country’s growth,” added.
Regarding the pursuit of stronger educational co-operation between Lebanon and Ghana, Mr Kheir stressed that the Embassy would work to promote greater collaboration between Ghanaian and Lebanese schools.
“Lebanon is a leader in the Middle East region in media and arts. I am confident that we will see a deeper co-operation between Lebanese and Ghanaian schools towards a bright future,” he said.
The Ambassador congratulated the school on a successful transition from GIJ to UniMAC.
Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, Vice-Chancellor of UniMAC, lauded the huge investment by the community in students at the university. He, however, called for an expansion in the scheme to cover students in the other constituents of UniMAC following the addition of two other schools.
“It is easy to take this kind gesture for granted because it happens every year. But I would like to assure you that we don’t take it for granted,” he added.
Professor Eric Opoku Mensah, Acting Rector of UniMAC-GIJ, praised the community for being committed to the scheme over the past decade. He urged the students to strive for professionalism in their chosen fields and endeavour to challenge yellow journalism.
Millicent Tiborimor, a beneficiary of the scholaship, thanked the donors for the support, adding that “the beneficiaries remain committed to working hard to make the investment in them count”.
A member of the Lebanese community, Mr Hishan, expressed excitement at the fruits that the scholarship scheme had produced over the years since its inception.
In 2013, the Lebanese Community Scholarship Programme was instituted to assist brilliant Ghanaian students to access education at the tertiary level.
The scheme, which began with just four schools, namely Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Ghana School of Law, has now blossomed to include the School of Languages and the School of Performing Arts.
The expansion which took effect in 2020, formed part of the vision of Ambassador Kheir and the community to reach many more Ghanaian students and help them access higher education.
So far, the scheme has supported more than 350 Ghanaian students.