The Cape Coast Polytechnic (C-Poly) Alumni Association together with six youth groups in the Central Region are calling on President John Mahama to intervene and ensure fairness in the selection of polytechnics to be converted into technical universities.
The pact, calling itself “The Coalition of Central Region Youth on the Conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities”, claimed there had been unfairness in the selection and this had robbed the Polytechnic of its slot on the list of first six polytechnics to be converted, this September.
The six youth groups which have joined forces with the Cape Coast Polytechnic Alumni are the Central Region Youth for Development, Fante Students’ Association, Concerned Youth of Cape Coast North, Cape Coast Development Association, Abura Youth Confederacy and Ghana Muslim Students Alumni.
A statement signed by representatives of the various groups and issued at a press conference on the polytechnic campus, accused the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa of deliberately denying the Polytechnic the opportunity to ostensibly favour the Ho Polytechnic, although the Ho Polytechnic ranked seventh in the report of the Technical Committee on the Conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities, the same report in which the Cape Coast Polytechnic was ranked sixth.
It alleged that Mr. Ablakwa, had said at a stakeholders’ meeting that he could not watch on as the Deputy Minister, for a polytechnic from his home region – the Volta Region – to be left out of the first phase of polytechnics to be converted.
“True to his words, today, Ho polytechnic has been unduly smuggled into the first phase. We believe that the selection of Ho Polytechnic is politically motivated and is borne out of tribalism and segregation. This is unfortunate and unacceptable,” the statement said.
The group said even though it acknowledged that the Volta Region had been the stronghold of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the role played by the Central Region in ensuring victory for the Party could not be discounted.
The statement also called on the Vice President, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament from Central Region as well as Chiefs, Opinion leaders and all citizens of the Region to intervene and ensure that Cape Coast Polytechnic was part of the polytechnics to be converted in the first phase.
“We also wish to call on the President to hold on with making any statement regarding the selection and conversion of Polytechnics to technical universities in his state of the nation address until this matter is resolved, else we shall advise ourselves accordingly,” it said.
Meanwhile efforts to reach Mr Ablakwa for his reaction to the alleged statement he made was unsuccessful as his mobile phone was off.
The conversion of polytechnics into technical universities, which was one of the manifesto promises of the Mahama administration ahead of the 2012 elections, was to bridge the gap between academia and industry and training students with employable skills for economic transformation.