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09.02.2005 General News

Polytechnics well resourced to start degree programmes

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Accra, Feb 9, GNA - Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) on Wednesday said Polytechnics institutions have both the human resource and facilities to embark on degree awarding programmes. The union said most of their lecturers were now teaching in the newly established private universities, which were given the accreditation to award degrees, yet, "the government continues to tell them that the polytechnics lack both human and infrastructural resources to undertake degree programmes."

Mr Ernest Adade, Member of the Advocacy Committee and Past Co-ordinating Secretary of GNUPS, was addressing a press conference organised by the union to highlight some of the problems still facing polytechnic education in the country.

He said the lukewarm attitude of the government on issues concerning Polytechnic education was gradually draining the human resources to the new universities, which would defeat the purpose for which Polytechnics were established.

He said the country would be affected greatly in future if nothing was done to reverse that trend.

Mr Adade said all that the Polytechnic students needed was support and encouragement from the government to enable them establish themselves and assist in the developmental programmes of the country. "Every year, government officials will come to our campuses and promise us to come together to form companies for them to sponsor us but after we present our proposals we do not hear anything from them again." Mr Adade cited one occasion when the Majority Leader in Parliament promised them that Parliament would finance their feasibility studies on a research proposal but to date that promise had not been made good. He, therefore, appealed to the government and those in official positions to always endeavour to keep their promises.

Mr. Kodwo Adjei, President of GNUPS, said it was unfortunate that, after three years of studies in the Polytechnic for Higher National Diploma (HND), one could not progress academically through his line of education only to deviate and seek progression in other Tertiary Institutions.

He said currently three Polytechnic Institutions were fully equipped and had the human resources to introduce the Bachelor of Technology and other five-year degree programmes and appealed to the government to consider those institutions to enable students to progress academically without any hindrance.

Mr Adjei said they were aware that the Bachelor of Technology was not the end of academic progression for the HND graduate and urged the government to assist the Polytechnics to implement the programme to the Letter as enshrined in the polytechnic act.

He said the principals and students were ready to push the course through but the government was reluctant to give the support. He also appealed to government to put pressure on the Committee established last year to investigate and make recommendations on the academic progression and job placement to come out with the report to be incorporated in the working document.

Meanwhile the launch of the 28th Annual GNUPS Week Celebration under the theme, "A Decade of Polytechnic Education in Ghana - Prospect and the Way Forward", has been scheduled for February 10 at Takoradi in the Western Region. 9 Feb. 05

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