Engineering in Ghana is sick, and the Ghana Engineering Students Association (GESA) is a cliché, and I mean these in the most terrible way.
We all must have heard the story where, the Ghanaian mechanical and automobile engineer called a road side mechanic to fix his car. Well, when I gained admission into KNUST, “the primer engineering university in Ghana”, I wasn’t expecting much. I only clinched a sliver of hope that the stories I heard about this institution were exaggerated. My hopes were however shattered at my first lecture.
Engineering Technology or ‘engine tech’ as it was called. It was to introduce us to the various machines and methods that were used in manufacturing, design and fabrication. It would also introduce us to the working principles of refrigerators, cars airplanes, and solar panel. To our dismay however, this was how it went;
Bring notebooks, write what will be dictated to you and submit it for marking at the end of the semester it will be worth thirty marks and your exam will cover the remaining seventy.
It’s been three years now since those days in my ‘engine tech’ class and I must say things have improved as we climbed higher up the ladder. However, the anguish I felt those early days was restored when I came across the posters for the 2016 edition of the GESA maker fair. A look at the upcoming program lineup spells out an association that is carelessly tactless.
2016 GESA Maker fair
One would think that when an association whose name literally has engineering in it, organizes a week-long celebration then that celebration will have some’ engineering’ in it. Take a look at the program however and you will see; Patrons cup, Health and investment talk, Career Faire, Career Fair Movie Show, Gospel rock show and a Debate. “I mean come on!” On what planet is this an engineering student’s week celebration.
This is a shame, because as an association, GESA has the duty of upholding the interest of engineering students and promote engineering itself. I do not see how this is bean achieved by this week-celebration especially seeing as it has the fattest budget.
Instead of a patron’s cup what if we would have a patron’s fund for student’s projects where during a competition final year students who can best defend their final year project are giving funds to carry them out.
How about instead of an investment talk we get a talk on Application of Mathematics by professor Allotey., Where students hear, how mathematics can be applied in their daily life and on the field of work. After all we learn math and never seem to know what we will use it for.
A technology show and not a Gospel rock show (not that there is anything wrong with worshiping God). Better yet how about an exhibition where students who are talented and have skill in the different engineering field showcase what they can do, expose them to investors and mentor. Surely this will serve engineering better than a debate.
An innovative devise by KNUST students that allow famers to store grains for longer periods
In my express opinion this year’s GESA week program line up is yet another flub that makes me doubt that the future of engineering in Ghana is on a course to light. It is a disgrace to Engineering students and to engineering at large, as such it must be withdrawn, and a new committee be formed to plan a celebration worthy of engineering students, GESA, and the college of engineering.
By: Charles Ofori, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student (KNUST)