Takoradi Feb.25 -GNA-Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, on Saturday said a new Polytechnic Bill to replace PNDC Law 321 was laid in Parliament in December last year. He was speaking at the fifty-anniversary celebration and fifth congregation of the Takoradi Polytechnic at which 877 graduates were presented with certificates at Takoradi.
The theme for the celebration is "Promoting Rapid National Development: The Polytechnic Factor".
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education is considering the bill and would be put before Parliament by the end of March this year.
He said, "The new Bill brings the operations of Polytechnics in Ghana in conformity with modernity and ensures that we produce the type of skills we need for the development of the country". Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Polytechnic is not a second rate University and should not be considered as such.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the country's Polytechnics "Should consider themselves first class Polytechnics well-located within the tertiary education".
He said, "The mission of the Polytechnics is the delivery of professional and technical education with emphasis on competency-based and hands on skills training".
Mr Osafo-Maafo said industries and the Polytechnics must be brought closer and collaborate to find solutions to industrial problems. He said industrial attachment should not be the preserve of only students but Polytechnic teachers should once in a while, make arrangements to work in a relevant industry to polish up their skills and carry out research that would be beneficial to the Polytechnic and the lecturers.
Professor Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, Chairman of the Polytechnic Council, said as a policy, the council has asked the Principal to encourage all the academic staff that do not have the requisite qualifications to upgrade themselves to obtain doctorate and Master of Science degrees. He said the council believe this is one sure way of strengthening the staff of the Polytechnic.
Professor Mireku-Gyimah said the Council has also asked the Principal to deal drastically with any student or staff who indulges in examination malpractice.
He said proper conduct of examination is one sure way of giving credibility to the academic programmes run by the Polytechnic. Professor Mireku-Gyimah thanked the government and the GETFund for their commitment and support towards the development of the Polytechnic. He assured the government that the Polytechnic Council is committed to ensuring that all projects in the Polytechnic are properly executed. Professor Mireku-Gyimah said last year, the Council terminated all contracts which were unduly delayed or for shoddy work. Dr Samuel Obeng Apori, Principal of the Takoradi Polytechnic, urged the graduates to consider going into self-employment. He spoke of the need of increasing the intake of engineering students to support the country's technological and industrial development on completion of their courses. Feb. 25 06