A delegation from the Vice-Chancellors of Technical Universities of Ghana (VCTU-G) has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum at his office in Accra to discuss pertinent issues affecting the development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country.
The delegation led by the Chairman of VCTU-G, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah used the occasion to congratulate the minister and repeated their pledge to offer him the needed support to enable him succeed in his new role.
“I must admit that your appointment has come at a time when the Technical Universities are going through a transformation of capacity building to better carry out their mandate of providing opportunities for Technical and Professional skills development of the workforce to meet the manpower needs of the nation towards accelerated socio-economic and sustainable development of the country”, Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said on behalf of VCTU-G.
He added that “as partners and stakeholders in the higher education sector of the Country, VCTU-G pledges its support for you and your Ministry in formulating solutions to existing challenges and implementation of government policies that will uplift the image of education, particularly, the TVET sector.”
Ing. Prof Adinkrah-Appiah observed that TVET and, for that matter, Technical Universities have a key role to play in supporting government in achieving its goals in the various flagship programmes, especially the industrialization drive of 1D1F and the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
“We, therefore, wish to bring to your attention to put the development of the Technical Universities on top of your agenda, as the Minister of education for Ghana, since the TUs remain the catalyst for job and wealth creation to propel the socio-economic development of the nation”, he further said.
Touching on some of the challenges facing Technical Universities, the VCTU-G Chairman noted that after upgrading them to their current status, some key resources that would facilitate their operations have not been forthcoming, thereby hampering the smooth running of most the TUs.
“After the conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities, Key Officers, including the VC, Pro-VC, Registrar and Director of Finance, were appointed. It became necessary to provide official vehicles for these Key Officers to facilitate their work. The TUs also needed to build the capacity of the system by providing some ICT equipment such as Computers, Photocopiers, Printers, Projectors etc. to aid teaching and learning.”
“However, due to financial constraints, these items could not be procured. VCTU-G has sent a proposal to GETFund through the GTEC to facilitate the procurement of these vehicles and equipment for the TUs”, he explained.
On Conditions of Service, he recounted that a communique signed by TUTAG and government agencies including the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education in September 2020 indicated that ‘the Conditions of Service for Public Universities should be extended to the staff of the Technical Universities in Ghana’.
“This decision was communicated to the Council Chairmen of the various TUs in October 2020 by the Executive Secretary of the then NCTE, now GTEC, Prof. Mohammed Salifu. However, there was no attachment of the said Conditions of Service of Public Universities to that letter.”
According to him, VCTU-G, in March 2021, officially wrote to the GTEC and requested for the Conditions of Service for Public Universities to be implemented for the Technical Universities to improve the working conditions of staff of the TUs to generate higher productivity but are yet to receive response to this letter.
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah also stressed the need for Technical Universities to be allowed to run Master’s degree programmes to provide B-Tech graduates an opportunity for academic progression and to offer the staff of the TUs avenues for applied research and publications,
He repeated his call on the government to upgrade the internet coverage in the campuses of Technical Universities to facilitate smooth academic work, especially in the midst of COVID-19.
“The impact of COVID-19 has compelled all Universities in Ghana to resort to the use of internet to conduct teaching and learning. This situation has made it necessary for Technical Universities to upgrade internet infrastructure on various campuses, as reliable internet connectivity is a critical requirement for the transmission of multimedia and simulation materials during virtual practical demonstrations.”
“VCTU-G has, therefore, written to the Office of the Vice-President, through the GTEC, to request for the inclusion of all the TUs in the ECG Free Wi-Fi Flagship project. There has been a positive response from the Office of the Vice President and we are waiting for action.”
The Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Adutwum, thanked the delegation for their visit and assured them of government’s resolve to help improve the education sector for the benefit of the citizenry.