Cape Coast Poly faces extinction; students boycott classes over conversion

Students of Cape Coast Polytechnic have vacated the classrooms to force the hand of government to add the institution to the list of polytechnics to be converted into technical universities.

The students claim the polytechnic faces possible extinction if it is not converted into a technical university.

Under a new policy to improve technical education in the country, government is considering upgrading six of the ten polytechnics into universities in September 2016.

Students of the polytechnic embarked on series of demonstration alleging their conversion spot had been given to Ho Polytechnic, a claim Deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has debunked.

On Monday, they decided to take their demonstration a notch higher with a total boycott of lectures which brought teaching and learning to a complete halt, Joy News’ Central Region correspondent Richard Kojo Nyarko reported.

The students said the decision is to save the future of the institution.

According to them, one month after the school advertised its admission processes only 45 prospective students have so applied.

They suspect prospective students would rather apply to other institutions which are likely to be converted into a university than to apply to a second class rated polytechnic.

“My view about the boycotting of lectures is that i think it is in the right direction because we believe if persuasion fails force must be applied,” one of the students said.

Another said: “we need to boycott lectures because we have not been treated fairly by not giving us the technical university.”

The SRC president of the Polytechnic Selorm Newman Ahiagber told Joy News they would rather lose lecture hours now than to have their polytechnic lose out completely in the future.

He would rather government converts all the polytechnics into universities rather than the piecemeal conversion approach being adopted by government.

The National Council for Tertiary Education in a statement said government is committed to converting all polytechnics into universities but will do in phases until all conversion criteria are met.

The Cape Coast and Tamale polytechnics have reapplied for assessment and for possible inclusion in the number of institutions to be converted.

The PRO of the Education Ministry Francis Gbadaglo called for calm amongst the students, insisting the remaining four of the polytechnics will soon be converted once they meet the criteria for conversion.

But Newman Ahiagber is not convinced. He wanted a firm assurance from the Education Ministry as to when their application will be reassessed.


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