The Former of the Catholic University College of Ghana at Fiapre, Professor James Hawkins Ephraim, has hailed the conversion of the country’s polytechnic institutions into technical universities explaining that the action is necessary to provide the necessary manpower for the country’s industries.
Professor Ephraim, who is currently at the Nduom School of Business and Technology at Elmina in the Central Region, was speaking at the beginning of the organisation of a series of workshops for lecturers and staff of the Sunyani Polytechnic aimed at sensitising them during the transition period.
He observed that polytechnic institutions in the country had not been given the recognition they deserved explaining that, even though lecturers were performing similar academic functions just like their counterparts in the universities, the disparities in salary levels alone eroded the confidence levels of polytechnic lecturers.
He pointed out that the idea that the polytechnics were not fully equipped “is neither here nor there” since the country could not wait for everything to be put in place.
“We need to begin from somewhere, in the process there will be ups and downs but we will eventually learn from our mistakes and establish the right systems to enable the technical universities to play their proper roles in the development of the country,” he stressed.
Prof. Ephraim charged authorities of the polytechnic to lead the community through its transition into a technical university by seeing the need to implement a big dream through a gradual approach, and asked the senior members of the community to identify challenges that the proposed university would face and bring them to the attention of the authorities.
“In the university system, we identify problems and channel them through writing to the appropriate authorities but not by merely complaining. We must have a shared problem and shared solution. You just not write about the problem but you should propose a solution in our new dispensation”.
Prof. Ephraim charged the lecturers to be committed to research in order to earn their promotions at the appropriate time.
For his part, the Vice-Chancellor elect for the proposed Sunyani Technical University, Professor Engineer Kwadwo Adinkra Appiah, called on senior members of the institution to psyche themselves up for the conversion and help the authorities in the implementation of strategies during and after the conversion.
He said his focus was not to make the Sunyani Technical University one of the best technical universities in the country but rather, one of the best in Africa.
The Registrar of the institute, Mr Samuel Ankama Obuor, stated that the Sunyani Polytechnic was ready for the conversion into a technical university and that it had submitted its programmes to the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB) for approval.
“We are waiting for accreditation from these two institutions to enable us to begin our Bachelor of Technology (B-Tec) programmes by next month”, he stated, explaining that the ongoing programmes were aimed at inculcating into them the university culture.