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16.12.2008 Education

Prez charges Polytechnics to be more innovative

By The Statesman
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President J.A. Kufuor at the weekend charged Polytechnics to be innovative and develop programmes that could help their products to gainfully employ themselves in their areas of specialization so as to stop the rural-urban migration for non-existing jobs.

In an address, read on his behalf at the 6th Congregation of Koforidua Polytechnic by the Eastern Regional Minister, Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, President Kufuor said that modest achievements of the Polytechnic had convinced his government that Ghana had not wasted her resources by investing in the Polytechnic system of education.

"I am delighted to know that the Polytechnic has creatively turned its moment of despair into hope, in spite of the initial difficulties', he said.  

A total of 700 students who completed the HND in 2007 and 2008 in Accountancy, Marketing, Purchasing and Supply, Computer Science and Statistics, were given certificates.

Stressing that the government's major economic development slogan, 'Golden Age of Business', was on course, the President said government was more than ever before convinced that Ghana could be a middle income country if business was allowed to flourish.

He said the government had created the necessary enabling environment to allow entrepreneurship to advance 'since it is people with entrepreneurial skills who understand and are prepared to risk their scare resources on investment.'

He noted that the business-friendly environment would not only pave the way for people with the requisite qualifications to get jobs, but more importantly, it would enable quite a large number of them to acquire the capacity to be self-employed and offer jobs to others.

President Kufuor said that the Social Investment Fund and other sources of funding for small and medium scale enterprises were initiatives which had been established to support the ingenious and the creative entrepreneurs, stating that under such an enabling enterprise, waiting to be called for employment interviews should be the thing of the past for a Polytechnic graduate.

He disclosed that the Koforidua Polytechnic had so far received a total of GH¢ 18,313.338.89 since its establishment and a 448 capacity students" hostel provided.

The President declared that the GETFund set up to finance infrastructural development in the education sector had lived up to expectation.

He urged university and polytechnic lecturers to take advantage of the Faculty Development and Research Grants from the GETFund to improve upon their individual situations while pursuing their legitimate demands for improved conditions of service.

President Kufuor also charged Councils of Polytechnics and Universities to widen the bases of their Internally Generated Incomes to improve on the facilities in their institutions.

 He commended management of Koforidua Polytechnic for raising over GH¢120 million to put up a 12-unit classroom block which was supported by the GETFund into a classroom complex.

The Rector of Koforidua Poly, George Afrane, announced that the Institute had since 1999 produced a total of 4,340 HND

He said the staff strength of the Institute had gone up from 324 to 438 while the student population had also risen from about 2,500 to 3,700.

Dr. Afrane said Koforidua Polytechnic was running HND programmes in four disciplines namely, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Automotive Engineering and Energy System Engineering.

He said it had spent GH¢ 350,000 of its GETFund allocation this year to equip those departments.

Mr. Affram Asiedu on behalf of the President, inaugurated a new Administrative block erected at a cost GH¢102,228.97 under the GETFund.

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