Gov’t. lauded for Polytechnics’ conversion plan

Prof. Lawrence AteporTHE Rector of Cape Coast Polytechnic,Professor Lawrence Atepor has underscored the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the country’s transformation process.

He explained that TVET education was not inferior to formal education and therefore, commended the government for its policy to convert polytechnics into technical universities.

Prof. Atepor was speaking at the 21st matriculation ceremony of the polytechnic on Friday during which 1,181 fresh students were admitted.

Out of the number 643 students, representing 54.5 per cent were males, while 536 representing 45.5 per cent were females.

Prof Atepor noted that converting polytechnics into technical universities would help the institutions to churn out graduates who possess the requisite skills, and entrepreneurial abilities to either fill vacancies in industry or set up their own businesses.

He indicated that the management was making necessary arrangements to get the polytechnic ready for conversion in 2015.

He stated that countries which focused on TVET were able to close their skills gap which contributes in meeting the labour demands of private-sector employment, as well as reduction in unemployment.

He said while the gains of TVET were primarily economic in nature, they also had positive multiplier effects on society since for instance they kept students in school, while helping in the alleviation of poverty.

“If we expect to be globally competitive and achieve economic progress, then it is imperative that all stakeholders in national education development, accepts that TVET is the order of the day,” he said.

Prof. Atepor further said that the polytechnic, in pursuance of its expansion strategy, has introduced the Bachelor of Technology degree programmes in building technology and technical engineering with computing.

He explained that the introduction of the programmes was to enable Higher National Diploma (HND) Building Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Accountancy Studies graduates further their education.

Prof. Atepor noted that frantic efforts were being made to alleviate the plight of students regarding accommodation on campus, indicating that the ongoing SRC hostel project was progressing, while a second hostel is to be constructed by the Boaturk Construction Company and partners from Spain on a build-operate-transfer basis.

The two hostel projects, he said, when completed would accommodate about 3,500 students which would significantly address the accommodation problem.

In addition, he said the management of the polytechnic, was negotiating with other developers for the construction of more hostels on campus.

He further indicated that the institution, with assistance from the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North, Ebo Barton Oduro, had secured funds to construct an ultra-modern auditorium complex, explaining that work on the project would commence by the end of the year.

Prof Atepor reiterated the polytechnic’s determination not to compromise on quality and any form of academic dishonesty, adding that the institution would continue to promote quality examinations and assessment system to churn out well trained graduates.

He warned that any student found to have gained admission through fraudulent means would be dismissed, saying, “much as the polytechnic authorities do not take delight in inflicting sorrows on any student, it would not allow the flouting of regulations with impunity”

From David O. Yarboi-tetteh,
Cape Coast

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