Govt not seeking to control universities with new bill – Dr Prempeh

The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has debunked claims that government was seeking to control the management of the country’s universities with its tertiary educational reforms.

According to him, the whole idea of reforms was to provide a comprehensive, coherent, well-articulated and holistic policy framework for the tertiary education sector of the country and had nothing to do with control by the government.

He said the policy framework apart from providing a holistic framework for the management would also ensure that tertiary education responded effectively to the needs of the ‘learning society and knowledge-driven economy’ that the country aspired.

“Government has no plans neither has he contemplated tinkering with the management of tertiary education in the country,” he emphasised.

Dr Prempeh disclosed this at a national forum on tertiary education reforms held in Accra on Friday.

The forum, held under the auspices of the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, was part of a series of activities outlined to sensitise and create awareness on the Tertiary Education Policy (TEP) and the legislative and institutional reform implications of the TEP.

It was also to discuss the rationale behind the Draft Public Universities Bill which had been submitted to parliament for consideration.

Dr Prempeh said the reforms was in recognition of the need for a comprehensive policy framework since there was no single point of reference document representing a coherent and holistic policy framework for the management of tertiary education in the country.

He said even though tertiary education institutions in the country had witnessed a rapid growth over the last few decades in response to the ever-growing demand of higher education, the growth had largely been sporadic and haphazard guided by isolated policies and piecemeal interventions.

In response to this, he explained that there was the need for a comprehensive, coherent, well-articulated and holistic policy framework to respond effectively to the needs of the learning public.

Dr Prempeh said the holistic TEP was an opportunity to spell out clear guidelines for the ultimate structure, planning, development, regulation, operation and overall governance and accountability of the tertiary educational system in one place.

He said the structure of the TEP was to deal with governance and management, equity and access, quality and relevance, financing and cross-cutting issues all geared towards improved learning environment.

The minister, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders to contribute and support the TEP to ensure that the management of tertiary education in the country was standardised to match up with international best practices.

By Cliff Ekuful

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