Professor Sylvester Achio, Rector of the Accra Polytechnic, has called for more investment into tertiary education and research as they are the main engine through which Ghana could achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
“At no point in history has it been more important to invest in higher education, as a major force in the eradication of poverty and the attainment of sustainable development than at this time”, he said.
Speaking during the 23rd matriculation of 4,791 students at the Polytechnic on Friday, Prof Achio said the current economic crisis that had hit many countries, including Ghana had affected the fortunes of the educational institutions as funding for its GETFund projects had delayed.
The admitted students were made up of Bachelor of Technology students and Higher National Diploma students on both full and part time basis.
In all, the School of Business and Management Studies admitted 2,740 applicants, while the School of Applied Sciences and Arts also admitted 1,155 students, with the School of Engineering admitting 896 applicants.
Prof Achio said the net freeze on public sector employment in the country had also constrained the school’s expansion drive as the Polytechnic had not been able to employ lecturers and other auxiliary staff to augment its staff strength.
He said as part of the Polytechnic’s objective to increase access to quality education, it has revised the content of some of its HND programmes and introduced more Bachelor of Technology degree programmes to help solve societal problems.
“The institution is also joining forces with the alumni association to serve as a vehicle for marketing the polytechnic to the job market, providing opportunities for staff development, as well as offering job satisfaction and motivation to staff to develop a high human resource capacity””, he said.
He said schemes available for students with financial difficulties include: the Disability Bursary Scheme for disabled students, the Government Scholarship Scheme for brilliant science and mathematics students as well as the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET) Scholarship also for brilliant but needy students.
The Rector appealed to the newly admitted students to make maximum use of the opportunity offered them by the Polytechnic.
He called on the students to eschew violence and channel all their grievances through the Office of the Dean of Students for redress.