Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, has called on polytechnic education planners to link technical and vocational training to the job market to enhance their relevance to the country’s economic development efforts.
They should respond to the current challenges facing the nation with creativity and innovation – to anticipate changes that would help transform the economic situation.
He said this in an address read for him at the launch of a fund-raising by Kumasi Polytechnic in aid of the development of its new site and entrepreneurship village at Kuntanase in the Bosomtwe District.
The proposed project which is estimated at GH¢150 million covers an area of 300 acres near the Bosomtwe Lake would be new home of the polytechnic.
An industrial and entrepreneurship village would be established near the campus to serve as workshop for engineering students. It would provide practical and internship training, help build the entrepreneurial skills of students, and serve as incubation centre for those interested in setting up their own businesses. It would additionally become a science and technology park.
Dr Agyemang-Mensah said technical and vocational education should empower individuals to take control of their lives and produce the workforce to create wealth, fight poverty and reduce unemployment.
He praised the governing board and management of the polytechnic for the initiative and foresight, noting that, the relocation would allow for expansion of its infrastructure to improve the quality of technical education.
The Minister appealed all well-meaning Ghanaians and corporate organizations to support the polytechnic financially to realize its dream, since the government alone could not do it.
Professor Nicholas Necodemus Nana Nsowah-Nuamah, the Rector, said the decision to move to the new location was to give the institution access to adequate land and other developmental resources for training of skilled tertiary level manpower for national socio-economic development.
The project, when fully developed, would have faculties with all the required teaching and learning facilities including lecture halls/theatres, library, staff offices, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and other ancillary facilities.
An administrative block, staff residential accommodation, great hall, examination centres, library and research centres, students hostels, commercial area, sports and recreation, worship centre, car parks, botanical garden and restaurants among other facilities, would also be provided.
The present site, he said, would serve as a City Campus to offer distance course and other academic programmes.
Prof Nsowah-Nuamah said in view of the magnitude and the huge cost, the project had been planned to be undertaken on short, medium and long term basis.
It would be funded through internally-generated funds, public-private-partnership, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), rent/leasing of some of the existing structures of the polytechnic and fund raising activities.
He said the success of the project would require the support of all stakeholders.