Converting Polytechnics Into Universities: Govt To Engage Stakeholders

President John Dramani Mahama will chair a stakeholder forum aimed at working out modalities to convert Polytechnics into Technical Universities today.

The forum which is under the theme “Repositioning technical education as a driver of economic transformation and national development” will assemble top academicians and educationalists across the country to devise measures to ensure the conversion.

The conversion of polytechnic into technical universities was one of the manifesto promises of the Mahama administration ahead of the 2012 elections.

This is aimed at creating more opportunities for students desirous of acquiring higher academic laurels and repositioning polytechnics as strategic institutions for the training of highly skilled human resource.

The rationale behind the conversion was to also achieve parity of esteem with the universities without departing from the practical-oriented philosophy of polytechnic education and training.

The Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa and former Rector of Ho Polytechnic, Dr George Afeti,in July 2014 said government would soon place a bill on the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities before Parliament to give the legal backing for the take-off.

He said converted polytechnics are not to become “traditional” universities with similar mandates or duplicate the courses and programmes that the universities are offering. Challenges hindering conversion In November 2014, Ghana’s Education Minister Professor Jane Naan Opoku Agyemang revealed that some challenges were hindering the conversion of respective polytechnics into universities.

She said a three-week strike by Polytechnic teachers Association of Ghana(POTAG) has hindered plans to convert the institutions into technical universities by 2016. Prof. Naana also revealed that put-off development partners working with government to achieve the feat.

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