The Wa Polytechnic has been exempted from government’s recent announcement for financial clearance for tertiary institutions to replace staff.
The polytechnic has not been provided with the needed financial clearance to recruit the requisite new lecturers for the implementation of the five new programmes it had introduced to make up for the mandatory number per polytechnic.
Professor Amin Alhassan, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Wa Polytechnic, made this known at the 5th graduation ceremony of the 2014-2015 batches of students of the school.
He said because the institution has not been provided with financial clearance for staff recruitment, it was unable to meet the requirements for accreditation, which affected the polytechnic during its assessment for conversion into a technical university.
The Wa Polytechnic currently has a staff strength of 187, comprising 82 lecturers and 105 administrative and auxiliary.
Prof. Alhassan appealed to government and other stakeholders to consider implementing a special window for the Polytechnic to augment its staff base to qualify it as a full complement of a polytechnic to carry out its programmes.
The IMC Chairman explained that for the Polytechnic to qualify for conversion into a technical university, it needs 112 new staff, of which 55 would be lecturers to raise its status as a fully-fledged polytechnic.
“It is only when we meet the full complement of a polytechnic that we can effectively work towards the mounting of Bachelor of Technology Programmes, which is key requirement for conversion into a technical university.
“The Wa Polytechnic needs special affirmative action of support to allow it join the family of technical universities in the future. Without this special attention, Wa Polytechnic risks becoming the only remaining regional polytechnic when all others are converted into technical universities,” Prof Alhassan said.
He announced that the polytechnic could develop B-Tech Programmes in the area of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Dispensing Technology and Building Technology in the near future.
He said the realisation of these programmes however depend on the provision of the necessary staff, infrastructure and equipment.
On infrastructure, Prof. Alhassan said a number of development projects, comprising staff bungalows, rector’s resident and 1,500 capacity student hostel among other facilities are uncompleted.
The school therefore needs special dispensation to get the projects completed as the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) allocation to the polytechnic is inadequate.
GETFund has to take special interest in the provision of infrastructure and equipment to help facilitate the transformation process of the polytechnic into a technical university.
Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister urged the IMC to work assiduously to qualify the school as a technical university as soon as possible.
He also encouraged the management and staff of the school to be cooperative and avoid acts that have the tendency of undermining the progress and development of the polytechnic.
A total of 689 students comprising 456 students of 2014 batch and 233 students of the 2015 batch graduated with 13 and six students obtaining first class respectively.
The Wa Polytechnic had been plagued with protracted disputes resulting in 21 court cases among lecturers and management, which necessitated the desolution of the Governing Council and the formation of an IMC which had diligently helped to resolve the cases out of court and retooled the school for progress and development.