Gov’t secures US$100m to face-lift tech varsities

Matthew Opoku Prempeh

The Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has announced that government secured US$100 million from the China Exim Bank to upgrade infrastructure, equipment and other training materials for technical universities across the country.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Education is working hard to ensure the take-off of these projects before the end of first-quarter 2019.

“We will continue working relentlessly to ensure that the needed support is provided to allow our technical universities run smoothly,” he said at the 3rd congregation of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU).

He said government has undertaken several reforms to improve learning outcomes so as to ensure they are both relevant and linked to industry needs.

These reforms in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), he said, are supported by the five-year strategic plan for the sector.

According to him, the success or otherwise of these reforms will depend largely on the technical universities.

He pointed out that the job market has moved beyond national frontiers into a global space, and that the concept of a job for life is no longer guaranteed.

“In preparing our young people for the life of work, we must provide them with the tools they need to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world,” he added.

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The minister noted that: “Having hands-on education in technology today is not enough to guarantee job success. The world of work needs experienced, competent and specialised individuals with the ability to learn quickly and understand sophisticated technologies”.

He said there is a need for both lecturers and administrators in technical universities to acquire the needed knowledge in order to churn out graduates with the necessary skills to find and maintain jobs.

The task, he said, is attainable if technical universities stay within their mandate and remain technical in terms of structures and programmes.

He urged TTU to work closely with the Ministry of Education and National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) on all issues relating to the institution’s transition into a technical university.

Vice-Chancellor of TTU, Prof. John Frank Eshun, said the university is poised to position itself as a preferred centre of technical education in the sub-region.

He mentioned that a five-year strategic plan was launched in 2016 to serve as a roadmap toward attaining the vision.

He said TTU is also making strides in the area of staff development, and about 150 staff members were granted study leave in the year under review.

In all, 2,027 students graduated: out of this number 1,432 obtained Higher National Diploma (HND) and 445 graduated with Bachelor of Technology degrees.

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Some 148 of the students were Civil Engineering graduates who received HNDs and competency-based training certificates from The National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABPTEX).

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