Rector of the Kumasi Polytechnic, Professor Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah is urging government to fast-track the proposed upgrading of polytechnics into technical universities.
He believes this will propel polytechnics to assume their rightful place of producing highly-skilled technical graduates to spearhead efforts at addressing national problems.
Speaking at the 86th congregation, Prof Nsowah-Nuamah urged government to begin the process in earnest.
In his first State of the Nation Address last month, President Mahama hinted a road-map will be designed for conversion of all 10 public polytechnics into full-fledged technical universities.
Prof Nsowah-Nuamah wants government to begin the process immediately.
He says Kumasi Polytechnic is leading the way in the upgrading process, having set up an internal committee to work out modalities.
The Rector indicated the upgrading is also part of the polytechnic’s vision to become a center of excellence for tertiary level human resource development through technical training.
A 5-year strategic plan to be implemented till 2017 is at an estimated cost of 66 million dollars.
Prof Nsowah-Nuamah disagrees with people who question the importance of the upgrading of polytechnics.
He even suggseted polytechnic education should be free as part of the package.
“A year ago, the concept of a Technical University was a wishful thinking but we are aware that it is now possible from the President’s 2013 State of the Nation’s address. My plea to government is the earliest upgrading of the polytechnics to Technical Universities because Kumasi Polytechnic for instance, has all it takes to be upgraded to a university status,” Prof Nsowah-Nuamah noted.
Three thousand graduands, made up of 1,890 males and 1,222 females received certificates in Higher National and Ordinary Diploma, B-tech and Diploma in Business Studies.
The Higher National Diploma alone attracted 1,798 recipients with 1,233 completing Diploma in Business Studies.
The Minister of Education, Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, announced that government is introducing some interventions to make polytechnics more relevant.
“Government will also facilitate the linkages between tertiary education and industry as one of its strategies to address the problem of graduate unemployment. This will be achieved by establishing polytechnic-industry collaborative programmes to increase opportunities for practical training and internship; promoting curriculum development to meet skills and human resource demands of industry,” she added.
Meanwhile, Prof Opoku-Agyemang has lauded the Kumasi Polytechnic for setting up the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Development and an Business Incubation Unit.