UG Department of Earth Science Holds Open Day
The Department of Earth Science has held an Open Day Forum to showcase programmes run at the Department both at the undergraduate and post graduate levels.
The programme was organized as part of commemorative activities of the University’s 70th anniversary. A major highlight of the Open Day was showcasing of the Department’s newly equipped analytical laboratories, in addition to a formal tour of the Department’s new building under construction.
The Head of Department, Prof. Sandow Mark Yidana, in his opening remarks paid glowing tribute to faculty of the Department for their continuous efforts in securing funding from associated companies, while pursuing their academic goals. He acknowledged some of the Department’s benefactors, who had either provided funds and/or internships for students, for example, the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Sahara Mining Service, African Mining Service, Schlumberger and Eni who he said had sent representatives to the programme.
On student statistics, Prof. Yidana said there are 513 students made up of 21 PhD students, 60 Masters Degree students and 432 undergraduates.
Prof. Yidana spoke of some of the challenges facing the Department, such as expensive field trips, and added that although the University provides some funds, the Department would appreciate further assistance in this regard.
The Chairman for the occasion, Prof. Naa Banoeng-Yakubo gave a brief history of the Department since its establishment and his personal experience as a student and a faculty member of the Department. He also expressed his excitement on the growing number of faculty at the Department and the high ratio of female faculty compared to other Departments in the University.
He spoke of the importance of studying Geology, citing his experience in the field as a Professor, and a contributor in enhancing the focus of the study. He also expressed his disappointment on illegal mining popularly known as “galamsey”, sand winning and other related illegal activities that belittles the profession.
Representing the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Thomas Tokonu gave an overview of the objectives of the Chamber and used the opportunity to announce its 90th anniversary celebrations. He encouraged the students to further their education after attaining their first degree in order to have leverage over others in seeking for jobs.
He also spoke to the students about entrepreneurship to buttress his concern about job opportunities and stated that the unavailability of jobs is not permanent with respect to the “boost” and “bust” of the industry. In citing an example, he said “in the year 2006, there was a boost which found Ghana exporting geologists to other parts of the world”. He touched on how geologists positively impact the country’s GDP and categorically stated that geologists produce 5% of exploration percentage and the Chamber produces 43% of the country’s GDP. He admonished the students to have an open mind to their studies since the courses they are reading give them the opportunity to work in any field.
Representatives from the companies present took the opportunity to give words of encouragement to the students, while providing them information on the objectives of their companies.