The National Accreditation Board has described as “illegal,” the proliferation of pre-universities in the country.

In an interview with the Times on Tuesday, the Director of Public Affairs of the board, Richard Adjei, said those institutions had not been accredited by the board to operate and, therefore, their certificates issued to students were “worthless and invalid.”

Mr. Adjei explained that some of those pre-universities were running tertiary programmes which they had not been accredited to do and said “their certificates cannot gain one entry into the universities as being advertised.”

He said besides, some of the institutions had been accredited to operate as tertiary institutions but they had been using their certification to run pre-universities, a system not classified in the country’s educational structure.

Mr. Adjei, therefore, advised individuals seeking to enter those pre-universities to cross-check with the board to ascertain whether they had been accredited to run as tertiary institutions.

The acting head of Pre-Tertiary and Private Educational Institutions at the Ghana Education Service, Ms. Esther Happy Edjeani, also stated that “the pre-university system is unknown to the service per the current structure.” 1

She said “such institutions can issue certificates of attestation or participation and not one that can secure the students jobs after completion, since they are neither vocational nor technical institutions”.

Ms. Edjeani said, “apart from the vocational and technical institutions whose certificates can secure one a job, no other certification, if not from a tertiary institution, can get one a job”.

She said, however, that some pre-universities were affiliated to international universities and hence, met the academic curriculum of those institutions outside. She said the GES could accredit such institutions to operate if they satisfied the GES requirements in respect of course content and qualified teachers, among other things.

Commenting on the issue, the president of Meridian Pre-university, Mr. Tetteh Nettey, said pre-universities had come to fill the gap between the senior high school and the university systems. “We prepare students for the tertiary level,” he said and insisted they could issue certificates to their students because they conducted external examinations which made their certificates valid.

He, therefore, dismissed the impression being created that their certifications were invalid, explaining that the pre-universities offered similar non-tertiary courses like Diploma in Business Studies (DBS) recognized by the GES and undertaken in the various polytechnics across the country.

He attributed the current confusion about pre-universities to “the poor educational set up in the country,” saying that the Meridian Pre-university, for instance, had been accredited by the Technical Unit of the GES to operate but its students sat external examinations.

Mr. Tettey, however, admitted that pre-universities could not be equated with tertiary institutions.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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