Bishop Charles Agyinasare, Chancellor of Perez University College, has said Ghana must produce graduates who are all-rounders.
In the view of the founder of Perez Chapel International (PCI), even though “higher learning within the walls of the classroom is beneficial and useful in equipping” students with “relevant knowledge and how to acquire it”, that “alone is insufficient” to make them “employable and desirable candidates in the job market today”.
“And, so, I believe our nation should churn out all-round graduates – what we call ‘Complete Graduates’ in an institution like Perez University College”, Dr Agyinasare said when he delivered a speech at the graduation of the first batch of students of the Kufuor Scholars Programme in Accra on Monday, 24 September 2018.
He advised the graduands thus: “Live your life such that when life serves a lemon, you can make yourself a lemonade. When life presents you with a mess, you make a message out of it. And when the tests of life come to you, you get a testimony from them”.
Bishop Agyinasare noted that: “As Kufuor scholars, by all means, do your best, and do it excellently with the knowledge and skills you have acquired from school. But above all, remember what one of the wisest and most successful men said in Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths’”.
Below is Bishop Charles Agyinasare’s full speech at the first graduation ceremony of the Kufuor Scholars Programme which was attended by former President John Agyekum Kufuor and former Chief Justice Georgina Wood:
Your Excellency John Agyekum Kufour, Her Lordship Georgina Theodora Wood, … Director, class of 2018, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for this great opportunity.
Mr President, well done for this programme in which you have chosen to empower these young scholars. For me, it is an occasion to exhort, challenge and inspire these young ones who are the future of this nation.
Also, congratulations to the Class of 2018, the first batch of students to have benefited from this scheme. The sharpest minds. It is my pleasure to be asked to share a few thoughts with you lovely young men and women as you prepare to face the world.
Indeed, higher learning within the walls of the classroom is beneficial and useful in equipping you with relevant knowledge and how to acquire it; and yet this alone is insufficient to make you employable and desirable candidates in the job market today. And, so, I believe our nation should churn out all-round graduates – what we call “Complete Graduate” in an institution like Perez University College.
Life, it is said, is in three major phases:
1. The Receiving Years, which run from birth to 25 – 30, when your fees are paid for by others like your parents or guardians. At this stage, you must learn and graduate with your certificates.
2. The Acquiring Years, from 30 – 60, when you work, marry, make babies, and take them through school. It is during this period that you save and prepare for retirement.
3. Then you enter into your Giving Years, i.e. 60 . This is when you share the knowledge you have acquired and give back a lot of what you have acquired. Well, you are in your Acquiring Years. To make the impact you need to make, let me tell you 3 stories.
a. The mates
b. The mates with one promoted
c. The ground coffee beans
Two mates came out of university. One went round celebrating his graduation, partying, started work and started living. The other friend after graduation got a job and set himself to read at least 600 books. After 20 years, these two guys met at a party, and as they compared notes, the one who partied was earning $ 200 a day whereas the other one who had prepared by reading 600 books earned $200 an hour! The difference was the preparation each put into the quest for success. This world’s leaders are its readers.
Two other mates who had both graduated with first-class honours happened to be employed by the same boss. With time, one was made a boss over the other. The subordinate went to the overall boss to complain that his friend had been promoted above him. The overall boss then sent him on a brief errand: To go to a particular market and buy a truck-load of pineapples. The young man returned after an hour to report that although he had gone to that particular market, he did not get enough pineapples to fill a truck. The overall boss then asked him to sit beside him, sent for the worker he had promoted, and gave him the same assignment. The gentleman went and returned after three hours. He reported that he did not get a truck-load of pineapples in the market as he was sent to do. However, he asked and was shown two other nearby markets, and together, he got a truck-load of pineapples. He went further to ask a trucking company what it would cost to deliver the goods. He, thereafter, negotiated with 20 young men to come and help offload the pineapples. The guy who was not promoted, with shame on his face, said to the boss, “I now understand why you promoted him above me”.
As you go out to the job market, your boss does not need a robot but someone who has a sense of initiative.
Let me conclude with this last story. It is said that a young lady went to her grandmother to report that life had dealt so terribly with her, and as a result, she was contemplating suicide. Grandma then took three pieces of silverware, filled them with water, and put them on the burner, with either a carrot, an egg, or ground coffee beans in each.
She then asked the granddaughter to take out what she found in each silverware when the water got to boiling point. When she removed the carrot, it had become soft to the touch. The egg had become hard and the ground coffee beans had coloured the water and could not be taken out.
Grandma then said to her granddaughter, “Life is like the boiling water and you are likened to the things put in the silverware.
When life hits you, you can soften and become like the boiled carrots. You can allow yourself to be defeated and see yourself a failure.
You can also be like the egg, hardened by bitterness, complaining that life did not treat you fairly, and you would blame others for your failure.
You can also choose to be like the ground coffee bean, which changed its environment and started giving out a sweet aroma.
Live your life such that when life serves a lemon, you can make yourself a lemonade. When life presents you with a mess, you make a message out of it. And when the tests of life come to you, you get a testimony from them.
As Kufour Scholars, by all means, do your best, and do it excellently with the knowledge and skills you have acquired from school. But above all, remember what one of the wisest and most successful men said in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”.
Precious One, you have received, so go out there and achieve success, for this is your time.