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28.10.2005 Regional News

Polytechnic students congress opens in Takoradi

By GNA
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Takoradi, Oct.28, GNA - Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Thursday said there was no need for rivalry between polytechnics and other tertiary institutions because they play complementary roles.

She made the call when addressing the opening session of the 28th annual delegates congress of the Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) at Takoradi.

The congress was under the theme "Realizing Academic Progression for Polytechnics - A link to Ghana's Industry and Technological Advancement".

Madam Horner-Sam said the Polytechnics were to produce middle-level manpower for industry adding, "Much as it is desirable and even necessary to have personnel at the top, middle-level personnel are also needed."

She said it was necessary that Polytechnics focused on their curricula based on science and technology to promote accelerated industrialisation.

Mr Paul Effah, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education, said Polytechnics being technological-based institutions had a major role to play in developing technical and technological skills.

Mr Effah said the Polytechnics also had a role in promoting research into ways to improve the efficiency of indigenous and endogenous industries to enable them perform at optimum capacity. He said Polytechnics must provide local and regional development otherwise they would lack local support and wither away. Mr Effah said as institutions set up by an Act of Parliament, they must meet national needs and aspirations, which included helping to reposition Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country.

Professor James Adu Opare, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast, said unless the Polytechnics received the quantum of funding to modernize their equipment, there was the danger of producing graduates without levels of proficiency desired by industry. He said as a result of poor funding and poor infrastructure development, Polytechnics lagged behind in technological and economic development.

Professor Opare said the proliferation of Polytechnics without corresponding resource support had rendered them too handicapped to offer any meaningful post Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes.

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