GTEC, media partner to clamp down unaccredited tertiary institutions

GTEC, media partner to clamp down unaccredited tertiary institutions

Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), the statutory body mandated to regulate Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) in all its forms including the accreditation of tertiary education institutions, has partnered with the media to clamp down all unaccredited tertiary institutions dotted across the country and improve quality assurance.

According to the GTEC, increasing concerns about the penchant for operating unaccredited tertiary educational institutions, programmes of study, and unauthorised qualification or titles, means that more punitive measures must be put in place to educate the public and to ensure quality standards.

In recent times, there have been several issues of people completing private tertiary institutions and in their quest to find jobs, are being turned down because their certification is not valid or from an institution that is not accredited, among others.

This situation, the GTEC described as very disturbing considering the financial investment and resources committed to study such programmes, hence, the need to ensure people are doing the right thing at the right time.

The Director-General, GTEC, Mohammed Salifu, addressing the media, stated that the commission is seeking to work hand-in-hand with the media to identify and bring to the limelight all unaccredited institutions, and deal with them appropriately to sanitise the tertiary education space.

Highlighting the accreditation function of the commission which falls under section of the Act 1023, the director-general emphasised that both public and private TEIs, as well as all the programmes offered by each of these institutions must be given authorisation by the commission; anything contrary is illegal.

More to that, he stressed that another significant issue that has come to the attention of the commission that requires urgent address is the use of higher educational nomenclature and titles such as doctor, professor and emeritus. He pointed out that there is a clear distinction between the honorary title and someone who has studied for such qualification in a credible academic field, hence, that must be made clear for the public to know at all times the holders’ wishes to go by that title.

Board Chairman of GTEC, Prof. Kwame Boafo-Arthur, on his part, reiterated the importance of the media and the critical role journalists play as stakeholders of national development.

“The media, which is described as the fourth estate of the realm, has played and will continue to play a vital role in Ghana’s development. This is why it critical that the media has a full understanding and appreciation of the work of the commission to enhance agenda-setting and watchdog role in the tertiary education landscape.

“GTEC considers media as a very important stakeholder and partner in the development and attainment of the goals and objectives of the commission,” he said.

With Ghana having over 200 accredited public and private TEIs and about 508,751 student population, ensuring quality standards in these institutions is enormous, given the challenges in monitoring and evaluating programmes; hence, the need to partner with a well-informed media to help with monitoring to ensure the institutions conform to rules and regulations that will help in enhancing quality standards in various institutions, the director-general stressed.

Adding to that he mentioned that the quantum of institutions in today’s neo-liberal environment has made regulation of the space very challenging to regulatory bodies, policy-makers and operators.

These remarks were made during a seminar to educate and inform the media on the mandate of GTEC, which was established through a merger of erstwhile National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and National Accreditation Board (NAB), under the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023).

Among others, the objective of the engagement included the need to establish a level of awareness on standards and quality assurance standards in tertiary education by the media and their role thereof; and also come up with strategies on how best the commission, in collaboration with the media, can put the issues of continuous quality improvement in tertiary education at the forefront of national discourse.

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