The Vice-Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University (RMU), Professor Elvis Nyarko has urged women to apply and participate in the programmes offered at the university.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, both the August 2020 & January 2021 intake had only 120 women out of 1,041 postgraduate and undergraduate applicants from both member and non-member countries.
Out of that number, only 691 applicants accepted and registered to represent 66.38 per cent. 83 postgraduates and 608 undergraduate students.
Speaking at the 18th & 6th Matriculation of the school on March 27, 2021, Prof Nyarko said, RMU has scholarship opportunities for women and also there is a flexible working arrangement for women in the Maritime industry, therefore women should conquer their fears and get involved to reap the benefits from the Maritime industry.
The Vice-Chancellor in a subsequent interview with Starrfm.com.gh, said, “the Maritime industry really needs a lot of women to come on board. And I want to use this opportunity to encourage all our young ladies in the Senior High Schools to be courageous and apply to come to this university, to acquire the necessary skills to be able to work in the ‘Blue’ industry. We know in the past, it has been challenging for women to go to sea, due to their inability to occupy some positions like a seafarer or Ship Captain, but times are changing and now there are flexible working arrangements for women to be able to combine work and also live their social lives.
“So they should be encouraged to come on board to train themselves. Currently, we have scholarship even for women who do very well in Marine Engineering. Stakeholders and Government should encourage young women to enrol any time there are opportunities so they come here to enable us to get more women in the Blue industry.
“We have systems in place to make life, very convenient and enjoyable for them. And we also protect them. There is a lot of discipline here. And so everything is well monitored and therefore they should not be afraid. This is the safest place for any man or a woman to come and study.”
He added that several courses including; marine engineering, nautical science, electronics, Port and Shipping administration are available at the Regional Maritime University for women to earn the requisite skills to work in the underexplored blue economy.
He said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for shipping services overtime would continue to rise. According to him, records showed that during the peak of the pandemic last year, when the land borders and airports were closed, all over the world, sea transport continued to operate very actively.
“This confirms the vital role the maritime industry continues to play in the development of nations and the certainty of job security for the youth, even in times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still with us,” he added
He said recent reports indicate that the Tema Port, recorded one of its strongest performances last year (2020) in spite of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which seriously affected other sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
Prof Nyarko said, “in short, COVID-19 or no COVID-19, the sea never dries.”