Technical universities will not replace existing universities – Minister

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang
Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the Minister of Education, has given the assurance that the yet to take off technical universities in 2016, will not replace the already existing universities; because their mandate will be distinctive.

She said students of the technical universities would be trained to acquire high-level practical and technical skills to drive the country’s economic and national agenda; declaring that “the introduction of the technical university would enhance the polytechnic mandate”.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang gave the assurance in a speech read on her behalf by her Deputy, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on Saturday, in Accra, during the 14th Congregation of Accra Polytechnic.

She said the bill for the conversion of the nation’s polytechnics into technical universities was ready and would soon be placed before Parliament for passage.

The Minister further lauded the Technical Universities Committee, Chaired by Dr George Afeti, former Rector of Ho Polytechnic for a good work done.

“I want to also make a special plea to industries to take an active interest in the polytechnics, take a look at our syllabi and the courses that we run and tell us what your requirements are.

“We cannot hope to gain the confidence and respect of society and industries, in particular, if we the polytechnics have a reputation of constant instability and cannot meet the task,” she said.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said the concept of polytechnic education was with the focus of impacting practical knowledge and needed skills into students to prepare them adequately for the job market.

She said the nation’s polytechnics had over the years produced capable men and women with highly acquired skills needed to feed the demands of the job market.

“As we all know, our world is fast growing and has become information and research oriented society, this has resulted in a keen competition among nations across the globe,

“Today, a country’s development is highly measured on its level of education. It is also imperatively true that education has become a major driving force through which a country’s economy thrives and Ghana is not exempted,” the Minister stated.

She said it was the desire of government to transform the educational standards of the country to greater heights, especially polytechnics.

At the congregation, a total of 2,922 students were awarded Higher National Diploma certificates for successfully completing various programme of study in 2014.

Professor Sylvester Achio, the Rector of Accra Polytechnic in his report said: “The graduate output for the 2014 compared to the previous years is the highest, it exceeds the 2013 academic year by 41 per cent, which in my opinion is very significant and shows Accra Polytechnic is maturing”.

He said the Polytechnic continues to work towards achieving its set objectives contained in the five-year strategic plan that was launched in 2013, stating that, in pursuant to that, a number of strides have been made in the areas of governance and infrastructure.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, the Chairman of the Accra Polytechnic Governing Council urged management to use the Polytechnic’s scarce resources prudently; and to explore private-public partnership opportunities to attract investors to construct teaching and learning facilities that support both academic and social life of their students.

He assured that the Council would support this effort to lift the Polytechnic to greater heights.

Mr Mensah challenged the graduates to uphold the ethical values acquired from the Polytechnic as they serve their fellow Ghanaians.

Source: GNA

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