Professor Sampson K. Agodzo, Rector of Wa Polytechnic has called for a purposeful and progressive pursuance of gender sensitive recruitment of staff and admission of students into polytechnics to enhance tertiary education delivery in the country.
He said gender recruitment and marketing should be an important aspect of polytechnic education especially with reference to women.
Professor Agodzo made the call at the Annual Research Conference of Wa Polytechnic at Wa attended by delegates from Sunyani and Koforidua Polytechnics.
The conference was on the theme: "The Growing Relevance of Polytechnic Education in the National Development Agenda: Challenges for Ghanaian Polytechnics."
Professor Agodzo said to sustain gender balance in the development of the national human resource capacity, there was the need for an equal number of men and women to be admitted into tertiary institutions.
He said currently, men to women ratio in the polytechnics was four to one while the national ratio for men to women ratio in admission into tertiary institutions was one to one.
Professor Agodzo, attributed this phenomenon to the belief of some people that it was more rewarding to educate boys than girls and pointed out that the country's human resources must be harnessed equally to put its development agenda on a sound path.
He said even though polytechnic education had the key to providing the needed manpower for the country's industrial growth, government's financial allocation to the institutions had been inadequate for the provision of basic tools and equipment required for their efficient operations.
Professor Agodzo called for a persistent programme of providing infrastructure and equipping the institutions to enable them to deliver on their mandate.
On graduate unemployment, Professor Agodzo said graduates from polytechnics determined to team up to create jobs by putting up their skills into effective use had been faced with problems of funding from financial institutions.
He called on the government to institute measures to address the challenges facing polytechnic graduates to help them engage in productive ventures to enhance their livelihood.
Professor Agodzo said despite increased admission into polytechnics, a new wave has been generated where most of these students understudy business programmes to the detriment of science and technology programmes.
He said this was in violation of government-approved policy of 60 per cent of students' admission for science and technology programmes as against 40 per cent for business related programmes.
Professor Agodzo called for careful recruited and retrained teachers to take up the vision of competency-based training of polytechnics, pointing out that the kind of qualifications required to qualify for teaching in the polytechnic must be more than obtaining a second university degree at the masters level.
"Such group of teachers must understand that they are under obligation to turn out task-oriented graduates or such calibre of products that are distinctively different from the university products," he said.
Professor Agodzo called for public-private sector partnership to enhance technical education and reduce the overall recurrent spending on tertiary education.
He said long term planning framework must also be used to track investments, progress and challenges of tertiary education.