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20 July 2016

Education Minister intensifies bid to pass Technical Universities Bill

nana AgymanEducation Minister, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, was in Parliament Tuesday to canvass support of legislators to pass the controversial Technical Universities Bill.

The law will convert polytechnics into universities to focus on technical, engineering and vocational courses, a move that some experts say could undermine quality technical education.

Addressing Parliamentarians Tuesday morning, the minister highlighted key strengths of the education policy.

“It was in the 2013 State of Nation address that the announcement was made and a lot of work has been done to advance this announcement and to translate it into practical reality,” she said.

So far about six polytechnics have been determined as having qualified for conversion into universities.

Some education experts have meanwhile kicked against the policy, describing it as unnecessary.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Ayeetey, for instance, thinks the current curriculae of polytechnics and the training that they provide are still relevant to the country.

“I believe a nation like ours needs a solid foundation for technical education and that is what the polytechnics were created for,” he said about the policy in May this year.

The conversion of polytechnic into technical universities was one of President John Mahama’s manifesto promises ahead of general elections in 2012.

The purpose of the transformation of all polytechnics into technical universities, government explains, 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.

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

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