The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, has charged the newly converted technical universities to offer practical-oriented teaching and learning.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman threw the challenge when she addressed the interim vice-chancellors, interim pro-vice chancellors and interim registrars of the technical universities at the official inauguration of eight polytechnics in the country which have been converted into technical universities.
The inauguration, which is in the transition phase, marked the second and last phase of the conversion of the polytechnics into technical universities.
The first phase was the selection of those polytechnics which were ready and prepared to be converted into the technical universities.
Show clear difference
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman stressed that when the technical universities were up and running, “we expect the differences between them and the traditional universities to be manifestly clear.”
She hinted that the success or otherwise of the entire endeavour would hinge on how successfully the transition was handled.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman explained that the inauguration became possible by the passage of the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922) by Parliament, which was given Presidential assent on August 31, 2016.
She said with the law in place, it was left with the actual process and steps of transforming the institutional set-up and governance systems of the polytechnics to reflect the attributes of the envisaged technical universities.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman observed that the traditional universities in the country continued to be mainly knowledge-driven, focusing on fundamental research and graduate studies and keeping a more disciplined approach to learning and promotion.
“You are here to fulfil a fundamentally different mission from those of our traditional universities, somehow bogged down by history and practice,” she said.
The Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), Prof. Mohammed Salifu, who outlined the transitional steps and arrangements for implementation, explained that the governing councils for the polytechnics designated as technical universities had, with immediate effect, become interim councils of the respective technical universities.
He said harmonised statutes and scheme of service for technical universities were being developed by a committee chaired by the NCTE, with representation from the Conference of Rectors of Polytechnics in Ghana (CORP).
He added that as part of the transitional steps, the technical universities were directed to develop programmes only in the core mandated area, adding that all existing programmes were to be vetted for their skills content.
The Council Chair of the NCTE, Prof. Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe, recalled what the NCTE had done in the cause of the transition and was grateful to the Ministry of Education and the team for their continuous support.
The CORP Chairman, Prof. Abdulai Salifu Asuro, stated that the decision to convert the polytechnics into technical universities was never a mistake and that CORP believed it would materialise.