Authorities at K-Poly warn of politicization of Technical Universities

Dean of Faculty of Creative Arts and Technology at Kumasi Polytechnic is urging caution over attempts to politicize upgrade of polytechnics to technical universities.

Professor Yakubu Seidu Peligah says such tendencies could only cripple human resource development and slow down national progress.

The Ministry of Education with the support of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has been formulating policies to see the conversion into technical universities of polytechnics in Ghana.

P.N.D.C L. 321 in 1992 raised the status of polytechnics to the level of tertiary institutions with the mandate to run Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes.

This was subsequently replaced by the Polytechnics Act, 2007 [Act 745] which mandated polytechnics to award Higher National Diplomas, and other certificates accredited by the National Accreditation Board.

They were then to award degrees subject to the approval of the Polytechnic Councils.

Kumasi Polytechnic topped the first batch of 10 polytechnics assessed by NCTE for conversion into technical universities.

Accra, Koforidua, Takoradi and Sunyani Polytechnics followed in descending order.

Authorities say the institution is ready to take off in September to begin competency-based and industry goal- driven education.

It boasts of at least 42 lecturers being Ph.D. holders, 3 associate professors whilst 210 hold Masters in Philosophy with additional 86 senior lecturers, among others.

Professor Peligah believes the conversion will promote partnership between academia and industry as training modules are designed to solve real life challenges.

He says any partisan approach to the issue will be counter-productive.

“We are talking about decoupling schemes from politics. These are national goals. The technical universities are for Ghanaians; it’s for the whole country not for any party and if a particular government begins something like this and a new one comes, they say we didn’t start it so push it aside. That’s the cause of our woes.

Such policies must be immunized against political interference and changes and that’s how we can succeed as a nation”.

Professor Peligah told a stakeholder forum in Kumasi a paradigm shift is needed to encourage academia and industry to complement each other for the successful implementation of the technical university concept.

Meanwhile, participants at the forum have welcomed the technical universities programme as one of the potential ways to address the country’s development shortfalls.

“Even designing of the structure [course], they want to involve industry. That’s the best way to go. When students complete the course, what he would be bringing on board will be relevant to the industry. Also, you will have competent-based idea”. A participant has said.

Another added “it will enhance national development. Everybody is taken on board. None of the sectors would be left behind. I’m from the Ghana Revenue Authority. From the tax angle, it will enhance revenue”.

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