Accra, Aug 26, GNA- Government has established a technical committee to work out modalities to turn the Polytechnics into degree awarding institutions.
Tentatively, it is envisaged that the first intake of students to pursue programmes at the upgraded polytechnics would be in September 2015.
The eight-member committee, chaired by Dr George Afeti of the National Inspectorate Board and a former Rector of Ho Polytechnic, was inaugurated in Accra last Friday.
These came to light when the Conference of Rectors of Polytechnics (CORP), paid a courtesy call on President John Mahama at the Flagstaff House in Kanda, to discuss polytechnic education.
President Mahama reiterated government™s commitment to convert the polytechnics into technical universities, as the growing economy needs middle-level technical manpower more than ever.
He said technical and vocational education (TVET) ought not to be regarded as second option courses, pointing out that economic giants like Germany, Singapore and Korea that had made it to where they are now because of emphasis on the applied sciences including TVET.
President Mahama said there is therefore the need for a change in mindset regarding technical and vocational education, stressing that such courses should not to be relegated to the background.
He advocated a change in orientation at the basic and secondary school level towards Science and Mathematics-related courses to help propel socio-economic growth.
President Mahama expressed the hope that the committee would come up with a roadmap to replenish infrastructure including well-equipped libraries.
Professor G.K.S. Aflakpui, Chairman of the CORP, said the plan to begin the new status is achievable with a little push since the polytechnics have the requisite infrastructure and the resources.
He called for the implementation of a policy to make technical courses attractive and rewarding for students and lecturers.
Prof Aflakpui pledged the conference™s support to the government as it pushes TVET in Ghana to the level it deserve.
Polytechnics were upgraded to tertiary institutions in 1992 by the Polytechnic Law (PNDCL 32). The Polytechnic Act, 2007 (Act 745), which repealed the Polytechnic Law, 1992, mandates polytechnics to; provide tertiary education in the fields of manufacturing, commerce, science, technology, applied and social sciences, applied arts, among other courses.
Additionally, the Act empowers polytechnics to award higher national diploma, diplomas and other certificates accredited by the National Accreditation Board; and award degrees subject to the conditions that the polytechnic council.