The Ghana Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) has called on the government and the private sector to provide adequate funding to improve research and general development of polytechnics in the country.
The union said this would help bridge the technological gap between the country and developed ones in this “rapid scientific era”.
The President of the GNUPS, Mr Abass Salifu, made the call at the 31st annual national congress of the union in Tamale.
It was on the theme “Election 2008: The role of the polytechnic”.
The five-day congress discussed such issues as students leadership and politics, time management of polytechnic graduates, tribalism, nepotism and the effect on the country and an assessment of the quality of the Higher National Diploma (HND).
GNUPS is the legitimate mouthpiece for polytechnic students. With a student membership of 45,000 nation-wide, the union had a mandate to contribute meaningfully to issues of national concern.
Mr Salifu observed that improvement on infrastructure in the polytechnics without a corresponding adequate human resource base was not the best.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in providing infrastructure in the polytechnics, we also call for greater attention of the government towards the provision of adequate resources for the institutions,” the president stressed.
Mr Salifu indicated that GNUPS had developed a five-year strategic plan for the union.
The plan, according to him, would review the approach of GNUPS to its challenges from strikes and demonstrations to negotiations and dialogue.
He said the plan also sought to pursue quality education in the polytechnics, adding that “We will also collaborate with external bodies in tackling global warming”.
The president intimated that efforts to dialogue and negotiate for the reinstatement of seven dismissed students from the Takoradi Polytechnic seemed to have proved futile and as such relations between the GNUPS and management of Takoradi Polytechnic were not encouraging.
The Rector of the Tamale Polytechnic, Alhaji Dr Seidu Yakubu Peligah, noted that products of polytechnics provided the needed middle level manpower for national development.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, in a speech read on his behalf, called on the leadership of GNUPS to collaborate with the polytechnic authorities to flush out students who engaged in all forms of social vices.
He observed that the Tamale Polytechnic had benefited from nine GETFund projects including an administration block, a library and a four-storey girls hostel.
Story by Vincent Adedze.