Education Minister Professor Naana Opoku-Agyeman at the weekend reiterated government’s plans to upgrade the various polytechnics in the country to technical universities.
She said the prime aim of establishing those institutions was to offer practical programmes to develop middle-level manpower, to facilitate development, and stressed that the plan would remain unchanged.
Professor Opoku-Agyeman, who said this in Tamale, at the 7th Congregation of the Tamale Polytechnic, indicated that the technical universities would not be a replica of the existing universities but that it would focus on practically translated science results into products for commercialization.
A total of 1,817 combined students, who completed in 2011 and 2012 were awarded with the Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates in various disciplines including accountancy, marketing, secretaryship and management studies.
Other disciplines were agriculture and mechanical engineering, industrial art, building technology, statistics, hotel, catering and industrial Management.
Professor Opoku-Agyemen said the polytechnic universities would be centers for practical engineering where theory and practice meet, as well as a congregation point of the world of learning and the world of work, for tangible productive results to stimulate the economy.
“When this is done, the country will derive full benefit from polytechnic education that reflects a true balance of theory and practice, which would become an antidote to youth unemployment in the country,” she said.
She gave the assurance that government would remain commited to strengthening the capacity of the human resource base of the polytechnics by way of offering scholarships to staff to upgrade their academic qualifications.
Dr Abudulai Salifu Asuro, Rector of Tamale Polytechnic said the school had introduced new programmes including tourism, electrical and electronic engineering.
He said the school had been accredited by the National Accreditation Board to start programmes in HND computer science, media and mass communication, purchasing and supply chain management, fashion and design, refrigeration and air conditioning.
Dr Asuro said as part of the school’s innovation, plans were far advanced to mainstream Information Technology (IT) into all programmes.
To this end, the Polytechnic has agreed with Mak Edu Consult, an IT firm to provide services to the school. From 2013/2014 academic year the admission of potential candidates will be done online”, he said.
Dr Asuro said management of the school intends to fully automate all students’ examinations, finance and personal record management in the near future.