President John Agyekum Kufuor has emphasized that human resource development and capacity building continue to be decisive factors in government's effort towards socio-economic and political development.
He said government had taken keen interest in the polytechnics and therefore pursuing vigorous policies that will enhance the capabilities of the polytechnics to function as the human resource of Ghana.
President Kufuor made the statement in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Ampofo Twumasi, Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, at the sixth congregation of the Accra Polytechnic.
"For the sustainable development of a nation, the human resources and skills of the productive force are important. The government has vigorously pursued and demonstrated well enough its intention towards education,” he said.
He added: “The emphasis is being shifted away from the mere acquisition of academic qualification to practical knowledge and in-depth understanding of the productive environment and the polytechnics are at the vanguard of this noble effort."
He said it was to ensure the successes of this agenda and the successes of Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates in the job market that provision of both infrastructure and human resource development in Ghana's polytechnics had been stepped up.
President Kufuor noted that there had been many dialogue among government, other stakeholders and industry to find a way of integrating the polytechnic curriculum and that is of the needs of industry.
He announced that government through the National Committee for Technical Education (NCTE) had started a research in order to harmonize the needs of the world of work and the polytechnic curriculum.
"There are many other plans that the government has put in place and these will begin to roll out at the opportune time. It is our desire and determination to see the polytechnics succeed," he said.
The President expressed sadness at the level at which pettiness and personal differences were eating into the fabric of the society and urged leaders in the institution to function in unison and in one accord give the students exemplary managerial leadership lifestyles.
President Kufuor advised the graduands to remain focus as they enter the job market since they were likely to face a lot of challenges.
He said: "Ghana needs your vision, we need your energy, we need your optimism, we need your faith, we need your resourcefulness and we need all the good things you can bring to mother Ghana."
The Principal of Accra Polytechnic, Professor Ralph Kingston Asabere, announced that the institution's two departments had been given accreditation to run a Bachelor degree programmes in technology and vocational education.
He said the rest of the departments would be accredited soon assuring HND graduates in search of first degree of hope soon.
Mr Asabere said about 80 percent of students were on placement and said the institution was collaborating with the Association of Ghana Industries and other bodies to attain 100 percent placement opportunities for all students.
He said polytechnic staff now enjoys rent subsidy, motor/car and bicycle and 'trotro' allowance, which are funded from internal sources.
Mr Asabere however appealed to government to improve the remuneration and conditions of service for staff. He called on the graduands to prove the worth at any work place they found themselves.
The Chairman of the Polytechnic Governing Council, Nii Lomote Engmann, said the council in collaboration with management and staff had been able to elevate staff quality, improve and diversify curriculum content and adopted modern trends in educational technology in order to meet the challenges of the new tertiary status.
He said the council had also kept an eagle eye on teaching and learning so that it does not degenerate into theoretical academic work only since the objective of the polytechnic was to train graduates to man businesses and industries.