By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge, Teshie

To help students obtain competitive certificates which would be relevant, even after military service, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) School of Ordnance, has established affiliation with Accra Technical University (ATU), to train and award certificates at various levels to GAF personnel, who complete their courses in accordance with requirements of the University.

The maiden matriculation ceremony, was held at the Academy Hall of the Ghana Military Academy (GMA), on Thursday, 29th August, 2019, for 97 GAF personnel, which included 6 Army, 5 Naval, 3 Air Force Officers, the rest being Other Ranks, Ratings, Airmen and Civilian Employees, with all to complete the study within two years.

The Guest-of-Honour for the occasion, Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Moses Beick-Baffour, in his remarks intimated that GAF attaches a lot of importance to education and seeks to improve officers, men and civilian employees in areas relating to their heads of operation.

R/Adm Beick-Baffour stated that “In line with the vision of the Military High Command – to develop a highly professional Armed Forces made up of well-trained and motivated personnel, who perform their functions using universally accepted best practices, all GAF Training Establishments are encouraged to explore opportunities that would add value to the various GAF courses”.

Admiral Beick-Baffour opined that the collaboration between GAF and the university would mutually benefit both institutions – with GAF achieving synergies that will enhance the professional competencies and competitiveness of personnel during and after their service, while ATU would have the wealth of field or industrial experiences that GAF personnel will bring onboard.

R/Adm Beick-Baffour stated categorically that the matriculants’ career progression in GAF is tied to their performance on the various courses they pursue while in service, and that it is the expectation of High Command that the collaboration with the university would be sustained for successive service personnel.

The Vice Chancellor of ATU – Professor Samuel Nii Odai, who assumed leadership in July this year and thus, the ceremony being his first Matriculation, committed to continuing to work with the High Command of GAF and the leadership of the School of Ordnance, to continue to increase enrollment into the university’s programs.

In his welcome address to the gathering, the Commandant of the Military Academy Training Schools (MATS)– Major General (Maj Gen) William Omane-Agyekum urged, “There are other schools under MATS who offer technical, vocational and skills training – it is our request that this collaboration be extended to them in due course”.

The partnership between the two educational institutions, was concretized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on August 9, 2018, after the Commanding Officer (CO) of the military school – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Amoako and his staff began a series of engagements with the varsity.

Two faculties admitting the students are; the Faculty of Business – made of four Departments; Accounting and Finance, Management and Public Administration, Marketing, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, and the Faculty of Applied Arts – made of three Departments; Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management, Fashion Design and Textures Technology and Liberal Studies and Communications Technology.

The students shall be awarded such certificates, at the end of their respective programs: Bachelor of Technology in Procurement and Supply Chain Management for students of Young Officers Ordnance Course, Advance Diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management for students of the Regimental Quartermaster (RQMS) Course, Diploma in Tailoring for students of Tailoring Advance and Diploma in Leather Crafting for students pursuing Advance Leatherworks.

As part of the requirement for the award of certificates, students would undertake various industrial attachments in September, while arrangements have been made for Tailoring students to be attached to Dignity DTRT – a garment factory in Accra, whiles the Leatherworks students take their practical attachment with the Kumasi Shoe Factory, Kumasi.

For students pursuing the Bachelor of Technology Program, it is mandatory that they undertake six months industrial attachment after the course, part of which should be done in any organization outside the GAF, and thereafter, submit their project work and defend same before they graduate.

Additionally, the School has also received permission from Coca Cola Bottling Company Limited and Nestle Ghana Limited, for the Quartermaster Students to familiarize themselves with their best practices.

The School of Ordnance was established in 1955, to train the logistics personnel of the Colonial Forces Students, who graduated from the school and were awarded military certificates, however, although the standard of training is very high and conforms to civilian best practices, the military certificates are not relevant in civil life and cannot be used after a soldier exits the Armed Forces.

GMA – which trains cadets to be military officers, Engineer Training School (ETS), Signal Training School (STS), Electrical, Mechanical Engineering Technical Training School (EMEITS), School of Music, Clerks Training School, School of Education, Physical Training School, Mechanical Transport School, Armed Forces Fire Service Training School, Catering School, and School of Ordnance, are all under the aegis of MATS.

Palmers Green Limited, Vinolia Curtains, Hawkrad Developers, Wilmar Africa Limited and Promasidor Ghana Limited, were all sponsors for the historic Matriculation ceremony.

Dignitaries present at the ceremony included the Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Prince Osei-Wusu –Director General, Logistics, Brig Gen Osabutey – Commander of GMA and Deputy Commandant, MATS, Commodore GL Bessing – Chief Staff Officer, Navy Headquarters and Colonel Asmah – Deputy Military Secretary, General Headquarters.

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