The Deputy Director General of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Dr Ahmed Jinapor Abdulai has urged staff and faculties of Technical Universities (TUs) to ignore erroneous claims that they are discriminated upon compared to traditional universities.
Addressing the second session of the 17th Congregation of the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) on Saturday, August 7, 2021, as a Guest Speaker, he said some stakeholders have erroneously accused GTEC of deliberately delaying programmes accreditation for Technical Universities (TUs) and offering better conditions of service to traditional universities.
He stressed that faculties and staff of TUs in terms of “stature recognition and conditions of service are not and would not be different from their counterparts in the traditional universities. Salaries and emoluments such as books and research allowances for the two groups of faculty are the same and would remain so”.
Dr Abdulai explained that the only difference among tertiary institutions was institutionally approved conditions which were tailored and informed by the specific institutions and approved by the respective councils of the institutions.
The Vice Chancellor of Koforidua Technical University (KTU), Professor David Kofi Essumang appealed to the government and interested groups for the construction of new hostel facilities and staff accommodation to alleviate the residential challenges of both students and staff.
He said the institute since inception had had only one students hostel accommodating less than 10 percent of the entire student population, hence exposing the majority of students to poor sanitation conditions in their rented accommodations.
“The increasing students population has been an issue of concern to management. Out of about 9,000 students, less than 10 percent can be accommodated on campus at the only Ghana Educational Trust Fund Hostel. More than 80 percent of the students reside in private rented facilities which are close to campus. Sanitation facilities in some of these private houses are poor. We are very sad that some of our students could be exposed to health hazards as they live under poor sanitary conditions,” he said.
Professor Essumang also appealed for funds for the continuation and completion of the school’s ongoing health facility project and multi-purpose building complex comprising classrooms, offices for lecturers and auditorium to deal with the health needs of the school as well as classroom deficits.
The second session of 17th Congregation was on the theme “the Role of Technical University Graduands in Building a Self-reliant Nation Through Entrepreneurship”, and had only 128 First Class Honours students in attendance in conformity with the coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols.
In all a total of 2,189 students for both diploma and HND programmes graduated; with 2,021 being HND students, whereas 168 were diploma students. The graduating students with Second Class Upper and Lower Honours were 1,038 and 927 respectively. In the case of Automotive Engineering, a certificate course, two graduated with “Competent”, while 42 graduated with “Competent with Merit”; and 52 with passes.
Addressing the occasion as a Guest Speaker, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pentax Management Consultancy Services urged the graduands to be creative and critical thinkers in order to spot opportunities that would require their skills and build on them to be self-reliant.
He said there were no readily available jobs on the market, hence, graduates would have to be very innovative in their dealings to be self-employed and succeed without necessarily having to travel to other countries for greener pastures.
On his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong urged education stakeholders to change from the exams type of education to a skills base curriculum that would address the needs of the labour market and impact society.
He added that “university trainings are not sufficient for our graduates to face the challenges of job scarcity. There is the need for TUs to promote skills development among the students and emphasise on creative thinking as it would transform the graduates for a successful future”.
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