President Akufo-Addo has made a personal contribution of Fifty thousand Ghana cedis (GHS 50,000.00) to the Sunyani Technical University (STU) Endowment Fund.
In addition, the President has assured STU that government will take steps to address some of the major concerns of the university.
The President’s donation was made on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, at the grand durbar to climax the 55th anniversary of STU, which was held under the theme “STU, 55 years of Progress and Achievements in TVET and Engineering Education: Mobilising Excellence for Leadership in Ghana’s Industrialisation Agenda.”
The colourful durbar attracted dignitaries such as the Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene; Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah; the Deputy Minister for Education in charge of TVET, Madam Gifty Twum Ampofo, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, Ansu Kumi and the Sunyani West Municipal Chief Executive, Kusi Boadum.
Also in attendance were traditional authorities, corporate organisations, businessmen as well as old students of the institution stretching its days from Sunyani Technical Institute (SUTECH) to Sunyani Polytechnic and finally as Sunyani Technical University.
In his address read on his behalf, President Akufo-Addo congratulated management, staff and past and present students of STU for their various contributions which have kept the institution on its feet since its establishment in 1967.
The President said his government has enhanced the performance of Technical Universities in Ghana, especially STU, in the training of skilled and professional workforce for the government’s industrialisation agenda.
“Since 2017, the NPP government has created a strong foundation for TVET due to its importance in our country’s socioeconomic development. This foundation includes the passage of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023), to regulate, promote, and administer a robust TVET sector for transformation, innovation, and sustainable development in Ghana”, he said.
He further said the rehabilitation and upgrading of laboratories and workshops in Technical Universities and Technical Institutes in the country by government is one of the key interventions meant to give more impetus to skills training.
Massive TVET support
The President said the Sunyani Technical University and Methodist Technical/Vocational Institute, also in Sunyani, were among the 57 institutions that benefitted from the $119 million project executed in collaboration with AVIC International Holding Corporation of China.
He also announced that government, through Planet One of the United Arab Emirates, has expended an estimated €392 million in infrastructure development in the National Vocational Training Institutes to further boost the TVET sector.
For his part, the Vice-Chancellor of STU, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the institution, chiefs, opinion leaders and country’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, through whose instrumentality the institution was established.
He also recognized the diverse contributions of the Alumni, students and staff, especially the first Principal of SUTECH, the late Mr. Kuma Minta, toward the development and growth of the institution over the years.
“We cannot forget the dedicated leadership of the first Rector of Sunyani Polytechnic, Prof. Kwasi Nsiah-Gyabaah, who worked to grow the polytechnic to a notable institution between 1997 to 2010”, the Vice-Chancellor added.
The Sunyani Technical University (STU) began in 1967 as Sunyani Technical Institute (SUTECH) to offer technical and vocational education and training to Middle School Leavers, and later on, to Junior Secondary School graduates in hands-on Craft/Intermediate Block-Laying and Concreting, Carpentry and Joinery, Furniture Craft as well as Painting and Decoration programmes.
In 1997, Sunyani Technical Institute was upgraded to Sunyani Polytechnic (SPOLY) in line with government policy to stress on Technical/Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the tertiary level. The enabling law, the Polytechnics Act 745 empowered the institution to offer tertiary education programmes, principally, Higher National Diploma (HND) in areas in response to national human resource needs at the tertiary level.
In 2016, Sunyani Polytechnic was converted to Sunyani Technical University (STU) and given a new mandate through the coming into force of the Technical Universities Act 2016 (Act 922 as amended).