The Rector of the Koforidua Polytechnic, Dr. Goerge Afrane, has called on students in the tertiary institutions across the country, especially the Koforidua Polytechnic, to use dialogue as a tool to solving internal problems, instead of embarking on demonstrations and strike actions to drum home their grievances.
“The image of polytechnics in this country is fast improving, as a result of commitment of students and staff to using dialogue, and not confrontation to solve their problems,” he stressed.
He made the call at the 13th Matriculation Ceremony of the institution, at Koforidua on Saturday.
Government officials and relatives of the matriculants attended the ceremony, which has been an annual orientation, or concept to officially offer fresh admissions for students. Speaking on the role of polytechnics in the country, the Rector averred that the polytechnics were playing a vital role, in offering skills training and access to tertiary education to the youth of this country, however the challenge, as a nation, was how to offer these young people quality education, so that they could contribute effectively to the development of the country.
According to him, graduates from the tertiary institutions lacked the needed skills to move this country forward, because of the kind of training they get, hence employers complaining about the quality of university and polytechnic graduates in the country.
He intimated that quality training could only be delivered, when there was a healthy combination of quality staff, quality facilities and students' eagerness and seriousness to transform their skills into reality.
Dr. Afrane advised the fresh students to learn hard and be law abiding, in order to ensure that they did not fall foul of the rules and regulations, in both the academic and non- academic sectors of the institute.
He warned that the polytechnic would not hesitate to invoke the relevant disciplinary rules, to punish any student caught in examination malpractices.
The Rector said management of the institute, last year sacked a number of students as a result of academic non-performance, in order to serve as deterrent to students who have it at the back of their minds that the tertiary institutions were exhibition centres.
In all 2,029 applicants were received to undertake courses in HND programmes of the institute, which was about 350 more than last year's.
Out of the total number of applicants, 1,757 were offered admission in both morning and evening programmes, representing 87% of HND applicants, as against 1,256 applicants admitted last year, representing 71%.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Affram Aseidu, on his part, appealed to the authorities of the institution, not to comprise with the laid-down rules and regulations of the institute, in order to instil discipline in the students.
According to him, if lasting solutions were not found to practices such as drug-addiction, shabby student dressing and occultism, which lead to armed robbery and sexual promiscuity, the dream to transform the polytechnics, as envisaged by the government, would be a mirage. He also urged management and staff of the polytechnics, to be innovative and focused to enable them design appropriate market-fitting programmes, to meet the challenges of modern technological needs, in order to become a middle-income nation by the year 2015.