Professor Frank Obed Kwami, Chairman of the Ho Polytechnic Council, on Saturday called for a limited period of affiliation of polytechnics to the universities to run Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) programme.
“What the polytechnics need and want is not institutional affiliation, instead they need programme affiliation with these older universities for a few years,” he said.
Addressing the ninth congregation of the Ho Polytechnic at which Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) were awarded to 603 students, Prof. Kwami explained that the limited relationship was necessary in order not to transform the B-Tech Degrees into university degrees.
He said the danger, however, in the programme affiliation was the veering away of the objectives of polytechnic education towards the objectives of university education in the degree programmes.
“But this should not be the case. Seriously, this should not be allowed to happen in order to give meaning to the future higher degrees of the polytechnics such as the Master of Technology,” he cautioned.
Professor Kwami said the polytechnics should have a stream of progression of their own within the polytechnic system, which guarantees the production of a workforce imbued with deep knowledge and advanced skills, tailored for specific careers in industry that the country needed.
He said “moving Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) from the bottom of the ladder to the top should be a major priority for Government”.
Prof. Kwami said it was therefore a heart warming that students from Technical and Vocational Institutes were being encouraged now to gain access to the polytechnics.
He, however, lamented that the polytechnics were fast losing the cream of their academic staff to the universities and industry due to poor salaries and working conditions.
Prof. Kwami assured the graduands that they have good prospects to secure good jobs because Ho Polytechnic graduates are in high demand.
In an address read for him, Professor Dominic Fobih, Education, Science and Sports Minister, advised the graduands to take advantage of opportunities that came their way to set up their own businesses and offer employment to others.
He said the provision of excellent infrastructure facilities in the polytechnics attested to the government's commitment to addressing all the challenges involved in polytechnic education including conditions of service of their staff.
Prof. Fobih also appealed to polytechnic staffs to exercise restraint since time was needed to solve the problems relating to their service conditions.
Dr Komla Dzisi, Rector of the Polytechnic said the institution was setting specialized computer systems for its various schools to help graduates to fit into the world of work.