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Mahama: Equip Students with Employable Skills

President John Dramani Mahama has re-iterated his government’s commitment to converting all the ten Polytechnics into Technical Universities in 2016/17 academic year. According to him, The Ministry Of Education is currently working with The Ministry Of Finance And Economic Planning, to make available the necessary funds needed to undertake the conversion exercise in the coming months.

Addressing students of The Koforidua Polytechnic, during his three days Eastern Regional Campaign Tour, The President, And the Leader Of The Ruling National Democratic Congress, said, The Technical Universities, will continue their traditional vocational- oriented courses, for job creation for the young people.

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education, in charge of Tertiary Education, earlier said, the conversion of the 10 Polytechnics into Technical Universities is not a re-branding activity.

“This is not a rebranding exercise, being undertaken by the Ministry, or an action to mimic the traditional Universities, but a move, to ensure hands-down training and skills acquisition, to meet the current needs of Industry as a measure to accelerate the Country’s economic growth”.

According to Mr. Ablakwa the conversion was not a mere political exercise, as happened with the four-year Senior High School. The Deputy Minister said, Technical Experts had already travelled to Germany to pick up information on best practices, on how such universities are running in that Country, and its overall benefits to Industry and economic growth.
Mr. Ablakwa mentioned that, to achieve economic transformation, the mandate of Polytechnics, which is mainly skills-driven, should play a lead role, adding, “We are re-focusing, evaluating and re-strategizing Polytechnic Education” to build a strong Industrial base for development.

To this effect, a Validation Workshop has been organized based on the report of the Technical Experts, and a government white paper, issued on the recommendations.The MP for North Tongu, and The Deputy Minister In charge of Tertiary Education Okudzet Ablakwa said, the proposed conversion would require eligible Polytechnics to have two faculties, in a given Department, with four Bachelor Of Technology Programmes running, which calls for re-thinking into Institutional arrangement.

Another recommendation was the need for a Radical Staff Development Programme to The PhD level. “Currently, there are about 80 PhD Holders in the Country’s Polytechnics, and 1, 386 Master Degree Holders, these lecturers have a minimum of five years’ experience in Industry”.

President John Dramani Mahama, charged The Polytechnics to have Memoranda of Understanding between them and some selected Industries, in order to it that that graduates are allowed to do Industrial Attachments without stress.
He however, called on The Authorities, at The Koforidua Polytechnic, to deliver as A Practical And Technical University, to justify government’s investment through the GETfund.

Source: radioxyzonline.com/Francis Edzorna Mensah

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