Ho, Nov. 19, GNA - Dr. George Afeti, Principal of Ho Polytechnic on Friday underscored the fact that polytechnic education was not to prepare students to enter into universities. He stressed that polytechnic education was career-focused and that its training programmes were tailored to the specific skill needs of the particular professions.
Dr Afeti said this at the 13th matriculation ceremony of the Polytechnic for 1,319 fresh students made up of 817 male and 502 female students admitted to pursue various diploma and certificate courses. He explained that the philosophy and orientation of the Higher National Diploma (HND) was different from the conventional university degree programme.
" The distinctive characteristic of polytechnic education is in sharp contrast to traditional university first-degree programmes where the emphasis is on the acquisition of a broad knowledge with specialization following a little later, either on the job or at the second-degree level. Polytechnic education emphasizes the application of existing knowledge, rather than the search for new knowledge", he said. Dr Afeti therefore said the HND was a respectable qualification of which polytechnic students could be proud of, adding that, as a polytechnic graduate, one could be able perform middle management level functions and be capable of working with little or no supervision with attractive pay depending on one's performance.
He said, that did not mean HND graduates could not pursue further studies.
"Of course, with the HND you can aspire to higher academic qualifications or acquire higher- level technical and professional skills," Dr Afeti stated.
Dr Afeti said the 54 per cent increase in intake over last year's figure was not "just because we have received a large number of applications from qualified candidates". "We have increased our intake because our physical and academic facilities have seen considerable expansion, thanks to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the strong support of government," the Principal stated.
He announced that the Polytechnic would soon obtain accreditation from the National Accreditation Board to admit the first batch of post-HND Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.)degree students in January 2006.
Dr. Afeti said the B.Tech degree programmes were designed to deepen the practical orientation of the HND programmes in areas of technology relevant to the economy, which would not duplicate the traditional university degree programmes.
He deplored the rate at which students in tertiary institutions were spending a lot of their limited financial resources and time on frivolous engagements with very little time left for academic and healthy recreational activities.
Dr Afeti advised the freshmen to use the congenial atmosphere created by the Polytechnic for productive academic work. He said students who attained high grades would be considered for scholarships under a scheme established by the institution for brilliant students.