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02.09.2019 Feature Article

Ensuring Sanity And Transparency In Our Universities

EDU-QUALITY is solely dedicated for ensuring quality in our educational system. The group has been in touch with the then polytechnics and now technical universities in their pursuit of being converted into technical universities and the questions that is being posed is “do the newly converted institutions have capacity to be independent”? Our fact finding team deployed to the Technical universities reveal gross weaknesses and loopholes in their internal structures.

Of interest in this first episode is the fact that, there is no transparency and truth in the promotion and appointment systems of the technical universities. A lot of quack professors are cooked all to the detriment of the national purse. Our investigation revealed some staffs arrange and determine their own assessors who do not have requisite knowledge in their field of study for promotion as professors. This case was cited and confirmed in the recent staff audit report for example of Tamale Technical University, where assessments of publications to senior lectureship grade were conducted by assessors whose fields of study were totally different from the applicants.

The focus for now is the baby associate professors hurriedly being cooked by the new technical universities. The first example is the case of the acting vice chancellor Tamale Technical University who sent out his papers for associate professorship under his own watch, a conflict of interest situation. A background check reveals his assessors have no requisite knowledge in his field of study. With an architectural background, naturally his assessment should have being done by at least a professor from the architecture department of KNUST.

Furthermore, with ten (10) publications, having exhausted four (4) for senior lectureship, the remaining six of his publications were submitted for associate professorship. Our review team conducted a background check on his publications and four other persons to be made associate professors in other polytechnics and technical universities. Surprisingly, the total citations in the case of the acting vice chancellor of Tamale Technical University for all his publications of eight years are two (2) citations (For verification, google Abdul Manan Dauda).

Comparing this performance to lecturers in the traditional universities, he is a mockery of an associate professor if made. A comparative study was conducted with lecturers from the Architecture department of some traditional universities. Surprisingly some lecturers of the traditional universities have publications of over fifty (50) with citations of 88 to 200 and not yet associate professors. At least the total citations of your works give a hint on the quality of your work in a broader perspective than three self-determined assessors. Furthermore, If only two people have found something meaningful in your eight years of publications, it is enough to hint you on the overall performance of your works. The argument here is not about the number of publications. Suffice me to say, if lecturers in the traditional universities have publications of over 50 with 200 citations and not yet professors, the six (6) publications of the candidate in question should have been outstanding in every sense to qualify him as an associate professor, but for the entire publications of his ‘lifetime” to attract only 2 citations speaks for itself. What then justifies your six publications of over the fifty publications with 200 citations?

Similarly, Wa polytechnic, Suyani technical university, koforidua technical university are about conferring associate professors under debatable circumstances. Some of the applicants published in predatory journals, no citation after about eight years of publications, and pre-arranged assessors. Space wouldn’t permit me to delve deep in their cases in this first episode, but in subsequent expositions, the story of each and every applicant will narrated deeply.

If this menace is not curbed, our universities will soon be reduced to mushroom universities. Also, if the technical universities want the conditions of service of the traditional universities, they must be ready to meet the standards of the traditional universities.

We wish to bring this menace to the notice of the education minister, NCTE and all education regulatory bodies not in vilification of any persons but ensuring sanity in our educational systems. To conclude, the following recommendations are put forward.

  • Government sets up a central regulatory body to coordinate all promotions especially professorship in all universities in Ghana.
  • The regulatory body should set up guidelines and determine appropriate assessors.
  • Upon assessment, a copy of the result should be sent to the candidate, the school, NCTE and all unions of the school directly from the assessors to create a transparent system.
  • Government should halt all pending associate and professorial promotions, validate the authenticity of the review process especially the cited technical universities and polytechnics.
  • Government should re-conduct a review of all the papers of associate and professorial promotions during the transition and conversion periods of the technical universities (from 2016-2019) to ensure promotions meet the new technical universities statutes.
  • Finally, all papers that were sent out under the then polytechnic statutes pending promotion now must meet the minimum requirement of the new technical university statutes. For the converted polytechnics, senior lecturer and professorial applications that were not effected before or at the closure of the polytechnics must be re-sent for review under the requirements of the new technical universities statutes to avoid any legal consequences.

By EDU-QUALITY

Abdul Karim Fayidu
Abdul Karim Fayidu, © 2019

This author has authored 1 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: AbdulKarimFayidu

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