Conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Varsities wrong move – Prof. Ayeetey

Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Ayeetey has said he would have strongly kicked against the conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Universities, if government had consulted him ahead of the change.

According to him, his opposition to the move is largely because the types of education polytechnics are to provide are still relevant and very desirable for our nation, hence making the conversion needless.

Several educationists kicked against the turning of Polytechnics into technical universities. Some argued that the polytechnics have not yet developed the necessary curriculum needed to run degree courses as well as the fact that various polytechnics are not conducting enough research to warrant the conversion into technical universities in 2016.

The Technical Committee on the conversion of polytechnics to technical universities, announced its decision to convert all polytechnics into technical universities beginning 2016, albeit in phases.

The conversion of polytechnic into technical universities was one of the manifesto promises of the Mahama administration ahead of the 2012 elections. The purpose of the transformation of all polytechnics into technical universities is to bridge the gap between academia and industry. It is also geared towards training students with employable skills for economic transformation in the country.

However speaking to Bola Ray on Starr Chat, Professor Ernest Ayeetey who questioned the haste in the government’s decision to ensure the conversion said he was deeply worried about that move.

“I believe a nation like ours needs a solid foundation for technical education and that is what the polytechnics were created for. They have evolved over the years moving further away from the ideal of solid technical and vocational education. That worries me; I’m worried because the conversion from being polytechnics into Technical Universities has been premised on factors that I don’t think are important.

“I know that many of my colleagues will disagree with me but that is my opinion; I would have strongly kicked against the conversion largely because the type of education polytechnics are to provide are still relevant and very desirable for our nation. So as the change occurs I wonder how we’re going to find the technical people that we want as a country to make our economy what it should be. We want to have a more restructured economy, there’s no way you can do this without a strong application of new technologies and that is what polytechnics are there for and we are moving away from making our polytechnics more technical and rather making them more academic; and that is most unfortunate. I know I’m going to receive a lot of flak but I stand by my opinion.”

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