Government says it is considering measures to upgrade Colleges of Education which currently award diplomas into degree-awarding universities.
“Transforming colleges of education to the status of universities that award degrees instead of diplomas that ensuring that school children from kindergarten upwards will henceforth be taught by graduate degree holders,” Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah disclosed.
He was speaking at the 12th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union in Kumasi.
The elevation of the over 40 Colleges of Education in the country will follow the upgrade of Polytechnics to university status.
Professor Yankah said this is part of reforms in the education sector geared at enhancing the quality of graduates the Colleges churn out.
“This is meant to Increase enrolment to the colleges as has been the case recently,” he added.
The Free SHS policy has ensured that there have been 18 to 20 percent increase in high school enrolment.
On re-opening this year, it promises to have admitted 1.2 million children in high school.
This provides an opportunity to increase the gross 16.7 percent enrolment ratio in tertiary institutions to 25 percent as envisaged by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
This, according to Prof. Yankah, can be achieved through a number of reforms including the conversion of the Colleges of Education from its current state to a degree-awarding institutions.
Other Tertiary Education Policies
Prof. Yankah also revealed a policy to abolish affiliation of newly- established private universities to public universities will increase enrolment in private universities.
“The policy to abolish affiliations of newly established private universities to public universities is meant to ensure equity and quality of esteem between private and public universities promoting higher enrolment in accredited private universities”.
Meanwhile, a centralised application and processing policy to provide a common platform for entry to tertiary institutions is under consideration.
“Centralised application and processing policy which provides a common platform for applications to tertiary institutions especially universities and eliminate multiple admissions which other ways encumber other people’s chances of admission, the new procedure eliminates redundancy and above all, it makes it possible and available to policymakers a rich data accumulated in the application process”.
According to him, these reforms seek to enrich the human reform base and expand access to quality, inclusive and equitable education.
Upgrading Non-teaching staff in Universities
The Minister also advised universities to encourage their non-teaching staff to upgrade themselves just as their academic colleagues do by scholarship.
He acknowledges on the part of several universities that the kind of scholarships and opportunities for further training abroad that are extended to faculty are not similarly extended to the administrative staff so the universities move ahead with their non-academic staff behind them.
“It is only a way of saying that we only think of one side of the coin forgetting that in the educational enterprise that we are nurturing and developing we are interested in both sides of the coin.
Consider TEWU and non-academic staff as integral to the capable and effective functioning of the tertiary institutions.”
Prof. Yankah advised the university community to embrace new waves of technology and grow together with its administrative staff.
“We need to be kept abreast to contemporary trends because the onus of quality and equitable education rest on the shoulders on both academic and non-academic staff.
“I urge institutions not to move ahead with the times leaving, TEWU and the general non-academic staff behind,” he said.
Chairman of the Tertiary and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), Peter .K. Lumor, endorsed the Minister’s call to members to pursue further studies.
“Let’s make the initiation to move with the times. Very soon, the fourth industrial revolution will catch up with us. When a new kind of technology emerges on onboard, we look down on the younger ones to teach the older generations.
“Considering the upcoming policies that seek to enhance the technology on the university campuses, I will urge of the upcoming policies to abreast yourself with technology,” he added.