The Wa Polytechnic in the Upper West Region last Saturday held its fifth congregation after finally resolving a myriad of issues, including court litigation that had delayed the school’s fifth congregation for two years.
The onset of rains just 40 minutes into the event appeared to emphasise the hard luck that had followed the organisation of the ceremony, and briefly interrupted the moment of pride for the 689 graduands of the polytechnic, but the students, lecturers and authorities unanimously agreed that holding the congregation was a big relief to them.
When the moment finally arrived, the otherwise separate graduation ceremonies for the 2014 and 2015 Higher National Diploma (HND) year groups had to be combined as a single event.
An earlier advertised attendance of the programme by President John Dramani Mahama to add some fulfilment to the expectations of the graduands did not happen.
Technical university status
Addressing the ceremony, the Regional Minister, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, called on the school authorities to work to achieve the criteria needed to achieve the transition of the institution to the status of a technical university.
He expressed gratitude to the Interim Management Committee (IMC) for restoring sanity to the institution, and said it was time to pursue the vision that would ultimately upgrade the school to a degree-awarding technical university.
He said by virtue of the array of technical programmes run by the school, the institution was most qualified to be upgraded to a technical university, hence the need to work towards achieving that goal.
The Wa Polytechnic was established in September 1999, and the first batch of students for the three-year HND programmes was admitted in 2003. Strangely, the school had held congregations just four times before the one held last Saturday.
Views of graduands
According to some graduands, a delayed congregation ceremony would have meant they did not possess the certificates that would enable them to access jobs in the formal sector.
But the school authorities, led by Prof. Amin Alhassan, the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) that was installed three months ago, decided to relocate the venue to one of the conference halls when it looked certain the rain would not subside after an hour.
Early on, a member of the school’s IMC, Mr Chris Arcmann-Ackummey, stated that the protracted crisis had taken a toll on the school, and had impeded its growth and development over the years.
In his estimation, it kept the institution “two years behind”, but insisted that the past must belong to history to enable the school to retune itself for its appropriate mandate.
Deserving students were honoured with special prizes.