Coast, Nov.29, GNA - Professor Lawrence Atepor, Rector of the Cape Coast
Polytechnic, has stated that Technical and Vocational Education and Training
(TVET) was what the country needed now for accelerated development and growth.
He pointed out that countries which focused on TVET were able to close their skills gap, to meet the labour demands of private- sector employment, as well as reduce unemployment, increase national productivity.
“Developed nations, including the so called “Asian Giants,” have attained such status because they concentrated their efforts on TVET”,
Prof. Atepor made these remarks when he addressed the 21st Matriculation ceremony to officially admit into the polytechnic, a total of 1,181 new students made up of 643 males, representing 54.5 percent and 536 females.
Out of the total number, as many as 1,060 are tertiary, while 121 are non-tertiary students.
He said while the gains of TVET were primarily economic in nature, they also had positive multiplier effects on society since for instance they kept students in school, and helped alleviate poverty, stressing that TVET was in no way different or inferior to normal education.
“If we expect to be globally competitive and achieve economic progress, then it is imperative that all stakeholders in national education development- government, regulatory bodies and others- accept that TVET is the new order of the day,” he stated.
He indicated that the polytechnic viewed government’s policy of converting polytechnics into technical universities as a step in the right direction, since it would help churn out graduates with requisite skills and entrepreneurial abilities, to either fill vacancies in industry or set up their own businesses.
“We are therefore making every necessary arrangement to get the polytechnic ready for conversion come 2016”
Prof. Atepor announced that the Cape Coast Polytechnic, in pursuance of its vision to develop into a “Centre for Academic Excellence in Technology and Liberal Studies, ” has introduced the Bachelor of Technology degree programmes in Building Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Accounting with computing.
He said the introduction of such programmes was to enable Higher National Diploma (HND) Building Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Accountancy Studies graduates, who wished to further their education to do so.
He disclosed that the Polytechnic was in collaboration with the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) to offer training programmes in computing, and the University of Education, Winneba, for the Diploma in Education programme.
On student accommodation, he announced that arrangement were being made to construct hostels with ultra-modern facilities, to alleviate the plight of students who rent accommodation in neighbouring communities, due to the inability of the school to accommodate them.
He said work on one of the hostels whose sod-cutting ceremony was performed in June this year by the Student Representative Council, had started in earnest, and would be completed soon, while a second hostel would be constructed thereafter. The two hostels when completed, would accommodate about 35,000 students, he said.
Prof. Atepor disclosed that the Polytechnic, with assistance from the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North, Mr. Ebo Barton Odro, had secured funds to construct an ultra-modern Auditorium Complex, and work would start before the end of the year.
He said the University had achieved significant success in physical development and human resource capacity, adding that government through the ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Trust Fund, continued to provide massive infrastructure.
He advised students not to resort to demonstrations, but use other peaceful means to resolve grievances, and avoid the temptation to write anonymous letters, because this unduly discredit the reputation of the school and other people.
“Note that the polytechnic environment emits both positive and negative forces… it can provide the finest opportunity for you to develop your talents and latent skills, if you decide to be law-abiding and focused,” he advised