The Government has secured 80 million dollars to undertake massive infrastructural development in the Polytechnics towards developing the requisite manpower to sustain the middle income economy the country has achieved.
Consequently, it has urged all Polytechnics to liaise with industry to enable them to design, expand and diversify courses that are relevant to facilitate industrial growth to sustain the gains made so far.
Mr Mahama Ayariga, Deputy Minister of Education, who announced this at the Seventh Congregation of the Cape Coast Polytechnic at the weekend indicated that the focus would be on vocational and technical training, which have been identified as engines for national growth.
It is in this direction that all technical departments, laboratories, workshops and training centres in the polytechnics would be fully equipped and upgraded to propel national growth, he declared.
A total of 1,017 students, including 346 women, who completed courses in various disciplines such as Business, Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2009, graduated.
He said the government considers Polytechnic Education very important and would do everything within its reach to develop it to the fullest.
Mr Ayariga, therefore, urged industry to partner government in its quest to improve infrastructure in those institutions.
The Overall Best Building Technology Graduate for 2009, Mr. Yahaya Yakubu Tanko, received the Bamfo-Agyei Excellence Award while the Best Female Construction Graduate Award for that year, Ms Mercy Tebepah had the Agnes Boham Excellence Award.
They obtained First Class and Second Class Upper divisions respectively and each received one 100 dollars.
The Deputy Minister pledged the government’s commitment to the welfare of Polytechnic Teachers’ saying it was in consultation with its professional association, POTAG, the Fair Wages Commission and the other stakeholders to ensure that their salaries are migrated unto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) devoid of anomalies to forestall problems.
The Acting Rector of the Cape Coast Polytechnic, Mr. Augustus Marx Koomson, enumerated a number of interventions put in place to help produce quality middle level manpower for the country, including sponsorship packages provided for staff to upgrade themselves.
He called for collaboration between the institution and industry both locally and internationally to enable it to realize its dream of training students for the new oil and gas industry.
Mr. Koomson challenged the graduates to perform creditably and also be disciplined on securing jobs to attract financial support for the Polytechnics while they created avenues for their colleagues to readily get jobs on the market.
The Chairman of the Cape Coast Polytechnic Council, Dr. Francis Cobbina, for his part, said to be abreast with the times the Polytechnic faculties must become more proactive and design curricular and programmes that would offer the best form of training for the students.
“Polytechnics must go beyond the classroom and explore through the power of modern ICT, the internet and other electronic modes of knowledge acquisition,” he advised.
He also advised students to explore the “uncharted paths” because the days when they took their teachers’ notes and lectures without additional research “are gone forever”.
Dr. Cobbina expressed concern about the poor conditions of service of Polytechnic teachers and called for a fast track processing of their conditions of service to avoid needless industrial disputes.