The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have outlined their visions for improving polytechnic education after the December 7 polls, at a forum in Tamale.
Whilst the Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Tongu and ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, Mr Joe Gidisu, presented a paper dubbed the “NDC's Planned Policy for Polytechnic Education in Ghana,” a spokesperson of Nana Akufo-Addo's campaign team, Mr Mustapha Hamid Bawure, spoke on the NPP's plans for polytechnic education.
The forum was organised by the Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) as part of its 31st National Annual Congress which took place in Tamale.
The NDC MP said in the view of the NDC, polytechnics were supposed to play a very distinctive and important role in middle-level manpower development by equipping students with specialised skills that would enable them to carry the nation into the industrialised stage.
He stated that the NDC had a history of putting polytechnic education in its right place, citing the upgrading of the polytechnics to tertiary status during the PNDC rule and added that the NDC had a strategy to improve polytechnic education, should it assume office as thew party in power.
He said the strategy would identify some challenges facing polytechnic education in Ghana and put in place mechanisms to address these challenges.
Some of the challenges he cited were funding, access, staffing, quality and relevance of courses studied, research and the administration and management of polytechnics.
“On funding, an NDC government would continue with its policy of cost-sharing, instead of the full cost recovery.
Free tuition would also be continued while scholarships and bursaries for brilliant, needy students would be instituted,” he indicated.
The NDC MP also mentioned that an NDC government would increase its financial responsibility to specialised areas of education, such as polytechnic education, and would also encourage the polytechnics to effectively mobilise internal resources, through the writing of proposals for external funding, the establishment of campus consultancy centres and the strengthening of alumni contributions, among others.
In order to improve access to the polytechnics, Mr Gidisu said an NDC government would expand and improve infrastructure in the various polytechnics for students, lecturers and the faculties.
Mr Bawure, for his part, said the NPP, on retaining power, would meet with the polytechnics to draft a plan for their re-development.
He said an office would be established at the presidency to serve as a link between the polytechnics and the president.
Mr Bawure mentioned that the NPP would also link the polytechnics with industry by ensuring that various companies sponsored polytechnic students undertaking courses relevant to their interests.
“The students would then serve the companies upon completion,” he added.
The two speakers later answered questions from the students, most of which bordered on areas discussed earlier in their presentations.
Story by Salifu Mohammed Nurudeen.