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10.04.2014 Education

'Community senior high schools should include vocational institutions'

By Shirley Asiedu Addo - Daily Graphic
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The Rector of the Cape Coast Polytechnic, Dr Lawrence Atepor, has suggested that the proposed 200 community senior high schools should include technical and vocational schools to make Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) accessible to the communities.

He said the reality was that there was great demand for skilled workers in many industries and they could be trained through  technical/ vocational training and polytechnic education .

Speaking at the 11th congregation of the polytechnic in Cape Coast, Dr Atepor commended the government for its decision to convert polytechnics into technical universities ,saying it would solve the age-old problem of academic progression for Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates. He added that  the conversion of the polytechnics into technical universities would also make university education more accessible to many more people.

A total of 1,019 students graduated with Diplomas and 10 with Bachelor of Technology degrees at the ceremony.

Polytechnic education
Dr Atepor said polytechnic education had been seen as inferior since it received its tertiary status in 1993, adding that, “It has been wrongly perceived by many that polytechnic education is inferior to university education.”

He indicated that the perception resulted in the annual over-subscription of university admissions while polytechnics failed to get their full complement of admissions.

Dr Atepor said the polytechnic admitted only 1,054 qualified students even though it had the capacity to admit more.

He indicated that it was introducing programmes and developing its human resource in anticipation of the conversion.

Lack of infrastructural facilities 
Dr Atepor expressed concern about the lack of infrastructural facilities and called for support, particularly to solve the polytechnic's accommodation problem, saying less than 10 per cent of the students had accommodation on campus.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur said the government would continue to allocate funds judiciously to make the needed impact on educational institutions.

He said the government recognised the important role polytechnic education played in skilled man power development for rapid economic and social growth and would not relent in its efforts to provide the needed support for the polytechnics.

The Chairman of the Polytechnic Council, Mrs Emelia Aning said the polytechnic must be supported to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

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