November 29, 2010 Accra, Nov. 29, GNA - The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has called on the government to upgrade and convert the polytechnics into regional universities to award full technology and vocational bachelor and postgraduate degrees.
Professor Agyeman-Badu Akosah, a CPP leading member, called for pragmatic polytechnic educational reforms to phase out the higher education diplomas and mini degrees.
He said the conversion of the 10 polytechnics into universities would automatically increase the number of public universities, reduce pressure on existing ones and transform polytechnic education.
Speaking at a durbar organized by the Accra Polytechnic branch of the Tertiary Students Charter (TESCHART), a youth wing of the Party on the theme: "Ghana's Current Education, the fate of Polytechnic Students," Prof Akosah described education as the only root to the security of the nation.
He said polytechnic education had contributed significantly to the development of the country and should be transformed to meet the changing global developmental trend.
Prof Akosah said the polytechnics provided technical education that was relevant, up-to-date in technology and forward looking in approach…" as such polytechnic graduates play a significant role in the development of the nation".
He recalled the promulgation of the Polytechnic Law in 1992, (PNDCL 321), and said, "It is now time to transform them to regional universities".
The Polytechnic Law mandates the institutions to provide tertiary education through full time courses in manufacturing, commerce, science, technology, applied social science, applied arts and such other areas as might be determined by the authority.
It was also to encourage the study in technical subjects at the tertiary level and provide opportunity for development, research and publication of research findings and give legal backing to desirable changes in polytechnic administration, course structure, grading, certification and staffing.
The polytechnics have their own governing boards or councils and the right to design their own curricula, plan their management and development activities.
Mr James Kwabena Bomfeh Jnr, CPP National Youth Organiser, suggested the introduction of an education system which would enable polytechnic graduates to do masters programmes without necessarily going through the first degree programmes.
"We must work at getting the teachers at the polytechnics to upgrade themselves while teaching to get rid of the under qualified tertiary teachers and stick to the traditional reason to train more practical and applied human resources for the science and technology needs of the nation," he said.