Tongraan Kugbilsong Nalebegtang, the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area in the Upper East Region has called on government to finalise the conversion of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic into a technical university.
He said the conversion was long overdue and the conversion would enable the polytechnic to absorb large numbers of the Free Senior High School (SHS) graduates soon to be churned out.
The delay on the part of government to facilitate the conversion of the polytechnic to a technical university even though it has met the criteria for the purpose, makes the institution unattractive to students, especially with the large numbers of university space in the country, he said.
Reports indicate that the Bolgatanga Polytechnic admitted 745 students for the 2019/2020 academic year representing 45.8 per cent of its capacity, as compared to the 2017/2018 academic year when it admitted 567 which implies an increase in admission of 32.8 per cent in 2019/2020 over 2017/2018 academic year and a drop of 10 per cent in 2018/2019 over 2017/2018 academic year.
The Tongraan, made the call when he addressed a durbar of chiefs and people of the Talensi Traditional Area on the theme: “Harnessing the Social, Economic and Cultural Heritage of our People for the Development of Talenteng”, at their annual durbar, known as “Tengmaalug Laong,” which literally means ‘gather to develop’.
The festival gave the traditional rulers and their people the opportunity to discuss pertinent development issues within the Talensi Traditional Area.
The event was attended by some members of the Council of State, Board Members of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), and the leadership of some political parties in the Region, heads of departments, some District Chief Executives and the media.
The Paramount Chief reiterated that “with regards to development of education in the Upper East Region, I will passionately appeal to the government to finalise the conversion of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic into a Technical University.”
While thanking government for absorbing the Tongo Community Senior High School at Baare, he appealed to government to assist the school with the needed infrastructure and equipment to improve on academic activities.
“We also wish to appeal to the various private companies in the traditional area and beyond to extend a helping hand to the school,” he added.
He expressed worry about the low academic performance over the years in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), saying “It is sad to learn of how poorly our schools are performing lately in the BECE.”
The paramount chief, who is the board chairman for TOR and the Member of the Council of State for the region, charged parents and guardians to take special interest in the education of their children.