The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has reminded all technical universities of the need to resolve all the outstanding transitional issues to make the conversion process complete.
Most polytechnics in the country were converted into technical universities through the promulgation of the Technical Universities Act, 2016, ACT 922, to better align the mission of higher education institutions to industry needs and requirements.
It is also to provide a clear pathway for academic and professional progression for students opting for skills-based technical and vocational education and training.
Dr Prempeh, at the 2nd Congregation of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), lauded the progress made so far by the university and encouraged the completion and submission of harmonised statutes and scheme of service to facilitate governance.
He said outstanding issues of concern included the appointment of substantive officers using prescribed processes, comprehensive staff audit, development of programmes in the core mandated areas, and the identification of niche areas or flagship programmes that would define the TTU as an institution.
He said the government was committed to making Ghana a world class centre of skills development and a leading country in technical and vocational training in Africa.
“A TVET strategic policy document leading to TVET Bill and the creation of a TVET service has been developed and submitted to cabinet for approval,” he said.
Dr Prempeh said the government had plans to equip and position technical universities to play meaningful roles in developing the needed manpower to facilitate socio-economic development of the country.
“The ministry will, therefore, work through COTVET and GETFUND to ensure that funding is provided for the construction of lecture halls, laboratories and workshops, among others,” he said.
In all, 1,913 students, comprising 168 Bachelor of Technology, 1,657 Higher National Diplomas and 88 Civil Engineering, received competency based training certificates from the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations.
Vice Chancellor of the TTU, Reverend Prof. John Frank Eshun, expressed deep appreciation to the interim University Council for the good foundation laid in terms of strategic direction during the transitional period.
“I will further like to report that the university is doing well with respect to teaching, learning, research and consultancy,” he said.
He said from the 2017/2018 enrolment statistics, 37 per cent were in business and social science related programmes, with 63 per cent being in Engineering and Applied Science and Technology related programmes, which were clearly in line with the National Council on Technical Education norms.
The Vice Chancellor said the involvement of industry in the training of students had been strengthened with the introduction of the Faculty Advisory Board systems, adding: “This is where industry practitioners are involved in decision making at the faculty level.’’
The university, he said, would be launching the research innovation and development fund to promote quality applied research that would spur the socio-economic development of the country and also contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
Reverend Prof. Eshun noted that plans were underway to offer scholarships to needy but brilliant students from less-privileged communities in the school’s catchment area and in the Region as a whole.
Dr Mrs Henrietta Abane, the Chairperson of the University Council, said the Governing Council would collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the transformation of the institutional set-up and governance systems to reflect the attributes envisaged for technical universities.
She appealed to the government to release counterpart funding for the completion of projects and procurement of equipment to enhance teaching and learning.
Dr Abane said one major challenge facing the school was the constant harassment from the Electricity Company of Ghana over unpaid bills and urged the Government to honour its promise to pay such bills on time.
Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi, the Deputy Western Regional Minister, said science, technology and engineering continued to be the basic requirement for socio-economic growth and, hence, the need to pay more attention to technical and vocational training.
“I understand that most of the courses at the University are run on competency-based training. I strongly believe these hands-on-skills training is the best way to impart the knowledge capable of transforming and making life meaningful to make an impact on society”.