Polytechnics not preschools for university education – Dr Afeti

Dr George Afeti, Chief Inspector of Schools, Ministry of Education, has said polytechnics should not be conceived as preparatory grounds for university education.

He said although polytechnic education is not a dead-end; the mandate of the polytechnics is not to prepare Senior High School students for university education.

“The Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate is a qualification in its own right, which opens the door to the world of work,” he stressed.

“With a higher national diploma in your pocket, you can earn a decent living by working hard and acquiring work-related professional qualifications.”

Dr Afeti, who was the guest speaker at the 15th Matriculation ceremony of the Koforidua Polytechnic at the weekend, said an HND should not be compared to a bachelor’s degree.

“Of course you can pursue further academic studies to the bachelor of technology level at a polytechnic or at the degree and postgraduate level in a university,” he noted

But, however, said the polytechnic was not a bus stop where one could wait to enter the right bus that would carry him or her to their preferred academic destination, adding, “You are already in the right bus”.

Dr Afeti indicated that polytechnic education is a career-focused one, meaning, when one attends a polytechnic, he or she is expected to acquire the knowledge and skills that would enable the beneficiary, upon graduation, a career in a targeted professional field: Accountancy, Automobile Engineering, and Tourism and Hospitality Management, among others.

“Polytechnic education is more about the application of existing knowledge to solving the practical problems of under-development rather than the search for new knowledge.”

He said Polytechnic graduates support national development when they are engaged in building and maintaining roads, operating and servicing modern telecommunications infrastructure and financial systems in banks and the like.

“Polytechnic education is also a key response to the need for diversification in tertiary education.”

Dr Afeti challenged the fresh students to help create a positive image for the institute, in particular, and polytechnic education, in general, by resolving crises and conflicts with their peers and those in authority through dialogue and consultation, rather than resorting to strikes, demonstrations and unruly behaviour.

He urged them to speak good English at all times and not foul language and to cultivate the spirit of volunteerism as individuals or group of individuals.

In all 2,026 students were admitted for the 2010/2011 academic year.

Source: GNA

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