“Government will continue to equip and strengthen Polytechnics”
Dr Joseph S. Annan, a Deputy Minister of Education, on Wednesday reiterated the commitment of government to continue to equip and strengthen polytechnics to enable them offer technical and practical oriented programmes in order to meet the needs of industry.
He said in addition, support would be provided to supervisory bodies to build their capacity, adding that post graduate studies would be strengthened.
Dr Annan said this in an address read on his behalf at the opening of the second Annual International Applied Research Conference at the Koforidua Polytechnic under the theme “Applied Research: the Gateway for Enhancement of Polytechnic Education”
He said in addition to providing tertiary education in specific fields, polytechnics were required to provide opportunities for skills development, applied research and publication of research findings.
Dr Annan said the conference was therefore a bold and significant step taken by management to remain relevant as well as fulfil the mandate as contained in the law.
He said government was conscious of the fact that polytechnics were indispensable in the development of talent and skills required to power business and industry.
Dr Annan commended Dr George Afrane, Rector of the Polytechnic, and management for initiating the applied research programme and urged other institutions and organizations to emulate them.
Dr Afrane said last year the polytechnic spent GHC 47,000 to fund research by its staff and to organize the conference.
He said this year GHC 75,000 had been spent for work to be presented by the polytechnic staff adding that they expected to spend over GHC 100,000 next year.
“We use up all our GETFund allocation for research and supplemented it with up to a maximum of five percent of our Internal Generated Fund to support research activities”.
Dr Afrane said apart from the fact that polytechnic staff needed publications for promotion; he was of the opinion that as a people 'we need to do research, to solve some of our basic problems”.
He expressed worry that over 100 years that cocoa was brought into the country, Ghana is still processing the crop the same way it started.
“We can harness the abundant energy of the sun to increase the rate of drying of the beans, without adversely affecting its good qualities”.
“By so doing millions of dollars would be saved by reducing the amount of unwholesome beans discarded as a result of just spreading it out in the sun,” he said.