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29.10.2008 Education

Kufuor inaugurates new structures at Accra Polytechnic

By gna

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday inaugurated a number of structures built through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to enhance academic work at the Accra Polytechnic.

These included three units five storey block of flats, a water supply and distribution system, Bachelor of Technology and Library block, Electrical and Electronic Engineering block and a 500 KVA electricity generating plant.

Added to these was another five-storey block of flats constructed by the institution from its own internally generated funds.

About 80 members of staff would now be provided with on-campus accommodation.

President Kufuor said the country's polytechnics, now numbering 10, occupied a very significant niche in the tertiary education sector.

The hands-on practical orientation to technical training was a critical contribution, which industry could not do without.

"Both in the mining sector and at the factory floor, it is this type of training, which keeps the production lines going."

President Kufuor said the opening up of polytechnics to the possibilities of training at the level of Bachelor's degree and beyond as well as the possibility to start at one type of institution and complete at another, transferring grades, required close monitoring among the institutions of each other's programmes.

It is for this reason that polytechnics along with other institutions have representation on the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board to agree on the ground rules to sustain mobility across institutions.

This is why the Government is upgrading facilities in the tertiary sector, especially in the polytechnics, some of which have been without critical facilities including instructional space and equipment.

President Kufuor said the massive level of infrastructure development at the polytechnics was the extent of the Government's commitment to higher education in general and the polytechnics in particular.

He noted as significant, the fact that funding for the projects partly came from within the institution, saying this was a potential that was yet to be fully explored.

He said he saw no reason why an institution manned by technically qualified teachers could not bid for contracts to be executed by hired labour and students working together in a learning situation.

President Kufuor encouraged the Polytechnic Management to ensure that the facilities did not go the way others had gone, becoming dysfunctional in no time for lack of attention.

Mr Napoleon Bulley, Acting Chairman of the Polytechnic Council, said they were grateful to the Government for the facilities, the first new addition to the structures of the institution since 1993.

The Rector, Dr Festus O. Addo-Yobo, said with the structures, they were now well placed to attract the best minds in teaching.