Coordinator of the Kufuor Scholars Program Dr. Pascal Brenya has admonished newly admitted first year tertiary students to take extra curriculum activities seriously as their success will depend on more than just academic work.
Speaking at a seminar on the campus of the University of Ghana themed “What I Wish I Knew in Level 100” which was organized by some Kufuor Scholars, he urged students to build themselves beyond their specific areas of study.
“Learning a new language, mastering a skill outside your subject of study, learning to drive, learning to play an instrument, and getting your passport done must be on the bucket list of very single level 100 student,” he observed.
“One should be well rounded, wholesome and complete as a person. You should as a human be versatile, able to fit in everywhere. To attain this first of all, you have to be an avid reader. Readers are those who know, and those who know are those who lead. Also build confidence. A confident third-class student is more likely to find a job than a first-class student without confidence,” Dr. Brenya added.
The “What I Wish I Knew In Level 100” seminar is initiative of the Kufuor Scholars, organised every year across university campuses for freshmen and freshwomen. With the strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) bringing teaching and learning activities on campus to a standstill, the seminar also sought to encourage students to find alternative uses for their time until normalcy returns.
Dr. Brenya urged the participants to be “extraordinary students,” describing such students as ones who “pay attention to the fine things everyone overlooks, make up their minds to always add the extra to the ordinary.”
Nana Ama Oppong – Duah who is policy advisor at the John A. Kufuor Foundation urged the students to take seriously the maintenance of healthy relationships. “It’s good to build networks but you have to make sure these networks are healthy,” she said.
The acting Student Representative Council (SRC) president of the University of Ghana Stephanie Naadu Antwi urged the new students to build their social currency whilst avoiding distractions. “The distractions and pressures of university life will always be there, but you have to make a decision not to fall into them,” she cautioned.
Dr. Felicity Yeboah, an alumnus of the Kufuor Scholars Program encouraged the students to take care of their mental health. “Life is lived from the mind. When you go out of your mind, you’re out of life,” she observed. She urged the students to listen to their bodies when they get signals that there are exhausted and take time off to recuperate.
Students who participated in the seminar expressed gratitude for the opportunity to interact with the speakers. “The program was useful, impactful, and revealed many unknown secrets about growing personally and professionally. I learnt to make use of opportunities that come my way and I choose to be assertive not passive or aggressive,” first year student Kelvin Azaglo said after the seminar.
“I thought there are certain things in life that I cannot do. But after that program, I’ve got confidence that there is nothing which is impossible. You have to be confident in taking decisions, acting as a leader and the likes. I feel so proud of being part of the program. I encourage you guys to organise more educational programs like this anytime,” Solomon Adu another student said.
“The program made me realise that I need not rest on my laurels but to press on and work harder. It opened my mind to new possibilities. I have to make the most out of every opportunity that comes my way,” Ohene Sasu, a Bachelor of Science in Administration student added.
The Kufuor Scholars Program (KSP) is an initiative of the former president which offers mentoring and coaching opportunities for tertiary students over a three-year period. The program seeks to imbibe the former president’s effective leadership in these tertiary level students so they can help develop the nation. The University of Ghana chapter of the KSP which organized the event is one of several chapters set up on tertiary campuses across the country.
Story by Salome Odei