Local Gov’t Institute Admits 147 Master’s Students

The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) has admitted 147 students on its four postgraduate programmes for the 2012/2013 academic year. The programmes include Local Government Administration and Organization, Local Economic Development, Environment Science Policy and Management and Local Government Financial Management. The 147 admitted students represent an increase of 81 percent over admissions in 2011/2012 academic year. The students are made up of 126 males and 21 females. Speaking at the second matriculation of ILGS students in Accra, Dr Esther Oduraa Ofei-Aboagye, Director of the Institute, said the school adopted two admission tracks this year, saying the first in September and the second in February, 2013. She added that the February admission would be intended mainly for two programmes to be offered at the Tamale Campus. The programmes, she said, were Local Government Administration and Organization and the Local Government Financial Management. Dr. Ofei-Aboagye said the move was to offer students on the Northern campus, a more conducive learning environment befitting their status as graduate students with refurbished graduate block. Touching on some interventions made by the institute, she said the school had started the construction of a Graduate block in Accra, comprising offices, lectures halls and faculty lounge. The director said the institute had been able to procure new libraries in Accra and Tamale with the support of German Technical Assistance (GIZ) Organisation Support for Decentralization Reform Programme (SfDR). She added that GIZ SfDR is also assisting ILGS to review and re-issue its Programme booklets as well as develop an exciting new curriculum in Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation. Dr. Ofei-Aboagye advised the students to take advantage of the modern technology available in order to gain the competence and confidence that effective change agents and professionals required. She assured the new students that the ILGS experience would provide them with excellence in scholarship through its lectures, graduate seminars, colloquia and field trips. Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, Former Vice Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, urged the students to commence their studies with the objective of acquiring the needed skills, knowledge and attitude to solve critical societal problems. “It is my belief that as you pursue this objective, you would one way or the other be working towards the ultimate vision of the ILGS,” he added. Prof. Adarkwa expressed excitement that such high calibre personnel could be trained locally and in a cost-effective manner. He said without the institution students would have been trained abroad at a great expense to the nation and over a long period of time. “This is why you should all support the efforts of the institute by studying hard so that in the shortest possible time, we see District Assemblies operate more efficiently so we, as a country, can have real value for pure limited resources,” he said. Prof Adarkwa reminded the matriculants that they were expected to play a key role in the decentralisation programme in the country, adding “You can imagine what the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies will be like without skilled personnel like you.” The Institute of Local Government Studies was commissioned in May, 1999 to promote excellence in local government administration. It was established as a project of Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to coordinate and promote training, education, research and consultancy in furtherance of Ghana’s decentralization agenda.