One thousand security personnel across the country are undergoing a two-month training programme in Information Technology (IT) at the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The programme was initiated and funded by the college at an estimated cost of GH¢500,000 and will take place over a period of three years.
The programme was launched last Monday by the acting President of the GTUC, Professor Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, at the college in Koforidua. He said the personnel would be attending the programme free of charge.
He said the objective of having the programme was to equip members of the security services with the basics of IT in order for them to serve the public better.
According to him, just like any institution of higher learning, GTUC was established to perform the functions of teaching, learning, research and community service.
He said in performing the function of community service, the institution would enter into formal and informal consultations with local non-governmental organisations, government agencies and community-based organisations with the aim of improving the quality of life particularly for low-income earners and the vulnerable.
He said the training programme would cover topics in computer studies, health, safety and maintenance, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and information and communication (internet).
Giving reasons for initiating the programme, Prof. Afoakwa said the GTUC had a sentimental attachment to security services in the country because it was established in the British colonial West Africa era as part of the country’s security services.
According to him, GTUC began as the flagship training centre of Ghana Telecoms and was the colonial communications centre in West Africa and was also used as a training school for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War.
He said over time, the training school was handed over to Cable and Wireless to train telecommunication technicians for British West Africa, namely Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
He said the training centre had progressed rapidly following deregulation and privatisation processes to become the centre for teaching Telecommunications Engineering and training employees of Ghana Telecom and other institutions in Ghana and West Africa.
Prof. Afoakwa said in 2005, the management of Ghana Telecoms upgraded the centre’s infrastructure, including equipment, to modern standards and subsequently transformed it into a university for the teaching of Telecommunication, Multimedia Engineering and Information Technology. In 2010, it was renamed the Ghana Technology University College.
For his part, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Nuetey Ayertey, who represented the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, said the training would improve the IT skills of personnel of security services in the region to enable them to combat contemporary crimes which had become technologically inclined.
According to him, it was because of crime that the government had recently directed all the security committees at the regional and district levels to intensify security interventions to help reduce crime.
Mr Ayertey said the government had considered GTUC’s IT training programme for security personnel as appropriate and timely because it had come at a time when robbery, murder and kidnapping cases were very rampant in the Ghanaian society.
He urged the Regional Security Commanders for the Ghana Police Service, Immigration, Fire and Prison Services to personally commit to ensuring the successful implementation of the training programme.