Professor Samuel Erasmus Alnaa, Rector of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic, has said the conversion of the Polytechnic to Technical University is long overdue.
He recalled that “on December 15, 2017, and on this very ground, I intimated that Bolgatanga Polytechnic was ready for conversion to a Technical University.
“Almost two years down the lane, we are still to be converted. We are now more than ready for the conversion.”
He noted that what appeared to be holding back its conversion were the AMATROL and AVIC projects, and said the institution had seen some indication of commencement of the said two projects.
“For the AMATROL project, the renovation of the Automobile Engineering equipment will be leaving the port for Bolga. The geological survey for the AVIC project has been done and we are awaiting the results from the laboratory analysis and subsequent commencement of the project,” he disclosed.
“In fact, we are over qualified and should be spared the anxiety, the agony of what to do next and the excruciating psychological pain of being tantalised with a Technical University status,” the Rector emphasised.
Prof Alnaa was speaking at the 7th Congregation of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic to confer Bachelor of Technology degrees, Higher National Diplomas and Professional Diplomas on a total of 299 deserving students of the 2018 cohorts.
The Rector said the delay in converting the institution into Technical University accounted for the low enrolment considering the number of graduating students.
“For the 2016/17 academic year, we enrolled 379, 2017/18 we enrolled 431 and for this academic year, 2018/19 we again enrolled 476. We are hoping that when our status changes to a Technical University the situation will improve,” he said.
Prof Alnaa congratulated the graduates and admonished them to use their entrepreneurial skills and training to face difficulties head-on as they moved out into the world of work.
“Let me add that you need hard work, perseverance and dedication to succeed in life.
“You may have to knock on many doors. In doing so, you must remain disciplined and avoid short-cuts, for they are dangerous.”
Prof. Francis Abantanga, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Polytechnic, said the demand for skilled manpower was more important now than ever in the desire to reposition the country’s economy to propel growth and development.
He said the digitisation of the economy, value addition to the produce and the application of science and technology to the way things were done, hinged on technical and vocational education and training.
“It is for this reason that a decision was made to convert all Polytechnics to Technical Universities. The history of the conversion up to date is common knowledge to all stakeholders. Bolgatanga and Wa Polytechnics are the only two left to be converted,” he said, and appealed to government to expedite action on the conversion of the two Polytechnics.
Madam Paulina Patience Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister, said President Akufo-Addo’s government acknowledged its responsibility to develop education at all levels, and said “I will continue to make appropriate follow-ups till the conversion is achieved.”