Timeline to convert polytechnics to universities may be missed

Minority ranking member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Professor Dominic Fobih, is suggesting that government’s initiative to convert polytechnics to technical universities may miss its implementation date.

He is questioning what he describes as government’s failure to present a bill on the initiative to Parliament barely five months to its planned implementation.

In 2013 government set up a working group to put in place modalities for this initiative. The committee has since submitted its report to government.

“There is a proposal to implement the change this academic year, which is October-November. If that is so, considering the processes that a bill to that effect would have to go through in Parliament, then we think that it is getting rather late because we need sufficient time to look at it”, he said.

According to him, there is a “Polytechnics Act” and not a “Technical Universities Act”, adding Government cannot just convert the Polytechnics Act into Technical Universities Act without getting Parliamentary approval.

“Parliament would soon go on recess, maybe by the end of July or thereabouts for its long vacation recess and so if there is a bill of such importance and priority, we thought this is the time to bring the bill to Parliament”, he said.

He said if government is really determined to implement the policy, then it must consider expediting the proess to bring the bill to Parliament.

The government says it wants to convert polytechnics in the country to universities to reposition them as strategic institutions for the training of highly-skilled human resource to drive the nation’s socio-economic development.

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