President John Evans Atta Mills, on Saturday, urged the youth to strive to acquire the necessary competencies to be able to take advantage of the opportunities arising out of the country’s emerging crude oil industry.
“Expectations are very high as the country looks forward to the proceeds from the oil find, I am sure you are all positioning yourselves to take advantage of the opportunities.” President Mills said.
He however cautioned that “not everyone can be directly involved in the oil industry.”
These were contained in an address read on his behalf by the Minister of Education Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo at the 10th congregation of the Ho Polytechnic on Saturday.
The Congregation saw the award of Bachelor of Technology degrees in Automobile Engineering and Hospitality and Tourism Management to 81 students and Higher National Diplomas to 1,760 graduates.
“You are graduating at a time of great opportunities for young men and women”, President Mills told the new graduates.
President Mills however urged the new graduates to aspire to establish their “own businesses and become employers instead of joining the queues for non existent government jobs.”
He said it was for this reason that the competency based teaching and learning being pioneered by the Polytechnic was appropriate and commendable.
President Mills therefore urged industry to compliment this competency based approach by offering practical training opportunities to the students including material support to the Polytechnics.
On conditions of service to polytechnic teachers, President Mills urged them to “bear with government as efforts are being made to sort out the challenges facing the country.”
The Rector of the Polytechnic Dr Komla A. Dzisi announced that the Institution has been granted approval to start a Bachelor of Technology degree programme in Agricultural Engineering and Higher National Diploma in Agro-Enterprise Development.
He said the Polytechnic has similarly signed a memorandum of understanding with the Liverpool John Moores University to upgrade Higher National Diploma graduates in Building Technology and Civil Engineering to Bachelor of Science in Building Technology and Construction Management.
He said the Polytechnic has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Teesside, Middlesborough of the United Kingdom to run Distance Learning Courses to train technicians for Oil and Gas and Food Processing industries.
Dr Dzisi said the Polytechnic was also linking up with the City College of Brighton and Hove to determine the training needs of Ghanaian Industries in Automation and Process Control.
The Chairman of the Ho Polytechnic Council Professor Anthony Apeke Adimado urged government to take a critical look at the pre-tertiary and tertiary education linkages.
“The linkages between the various levels of education including Technical and Vocational Institutions should be well defined to ensure smooth and properly structured transition from one level to another,” he said.
Professor Adimado further appealed to government to implement the proposed roadmap for salaries of polytechnic staff in order that the right caliber of staff could be recruited and retained.
He paid glowing tribute to Professor Obed Kwami the immediate past Chairman of the Polytechnic Council and Dr Mawusi Afesi the pioneer Principal of the Polytechnic for laying a solid foundation of excellence for the Polytechnic.