Department of Political Science Education Holds Maiden Colloquium for Graduate Students

The Department of Political Science Education under the Faculty of Social Sciences Education (FSSE), University of Education, Winneba (UEW) on Thursday, 28th January, 2021, held its first-ever colloquium in the Department for Graduate Students.  

The colloquium, which took place at the J. N. Aryeetey Auditorium in the South Campus of the University, was held under the theme, “Politics Amidst a Pandemic: Ghana’s Responses to the Outbreak of COVID-19”. 

The colloquium intended to share research on the COVID-19 pandemic the nation is still grappling with, especially the varying responses from the Government and different sections of the Ghanaian society as well as the impact of the outbreak on different sectors.

Some of the presenters

There were about 12 presentations by scholars of UEW and other sister universities at the programme. The presentations covered issues relative to how the Government’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Ghana’s foreign relations and boarder communities; the effects of the outbreak on the educational system as well as social policy and welfare in Ghana; how some measures to counteract the pandemic is affecting mental health and the impact of the outbreak on charismatic Christianity. 

The Ag. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, who was the special guest for the programme, stated that several interventions implemented by the Government since the pandemic confronted the nation need to be subjected to academic interrogation and the right people to do so should be political science researchers.

Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, Ag. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, UEW

“You need to interrogate that, and you have the capacity; you have been trained. Now, every country has goals and fundamental objectives. How is COVID-19 transforming the objectives of the state? Government sketches, comes out with a budget, I am going to achieve it; all of a sudden COVID-19 is here. For one year it has been lingering and it changes everything. So, how has COVID-19 affected the nation in aligning resources to achieve its long term objectives?” he noted.  

Prof. Ofori-Birikorang expressed delight and commended the Department for taking such a proactive step to mitigate the consequent hardships that had befallen the nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The Dean, FSSE, Dr. Lucy Effeh Attom, who chaired the occasion, recounted major interventions, initiatives and activities that transpired in the nation during the early days of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Lucy Effeh Attom

“Some politicians had their photographs on the meals shared during the lockdown whereas, in certain places beneficiaries were obliged to mention the slogan or appellation of a particular person before being served. As people in academia, we need to interrogate these and the many other responses deployed by the Government and individuals to be able to assess and evaluate their effects on the political space to learn lessons for posterity,” she indicated.

Dr. Lucy Attom beseeched participants to actively engage in those discourses to benefit from the sessions.

Dr. Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-Gyampah

The Head, Department of Political Science Education, Dr. Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-Gyampah, in his welcome address, said the theme was chosen with the view to reflecting and speaking to major aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana, especially, the varying socio-political and politico-economic responses it had elicited from different sections of the society. 

Dr. Amoako-Gyampah implored the Chairperson to ensure that papers presented at the colloquium are published and made available and accessible to the general public. “We hope for our research to deepen discourses on the COVID-19 outbreak and contribute to policy debates and discussions.”