GTEC must sanitise universities’ space
The number of students that enrol in tertiary institutions in every country determines the level of development of the country.
The projection of the gross tertiary ratio of Ghana by 2030 is 40 per cent yet the current ratio is around 20 per cent.
To make tertiary education accessible to every Ghanaian desirous of it, the government, through the Ministry of Education has embarked on proactive steps to bring it to the doorstep of all.
Apart from supporting the establishment of open universities that do not require physical space constraints, currently, university education can be accessed at every corner of the country, particularly with the conversion of the polytechnics into technical universities.
Currently, the traditional 10 regions have a technical university each, with satellite campuses of already existing universities in the country established in some district capitals and other towns, while the new regions are getting the needed attention.
Additionally, all the 46 public colleges of education now offer degree programmes.
Most of the traditional universities, especially the university of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) organise distant education, particularly for teachers and others desirous to be teachers at various locations across the country.
All these steps are laudable in the effort of the country to raise its gross tertiary enrolment ratio to an appreciable level; however, this should not amount to lowering the standard of our tertiary education.
It is in the light of this that the Daily Graphic sees the decision by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to sanitise the tertiary education space as a move in the right direction that deserves the support by all.
Recently, the GTEC had the unpleasant duty to warn universities operating in unaccredited environments as well as those running unaccredited programmes to stop or face the wrath of the law.
The Daily Graphic finds these developments worrying, especially their implications on the country's educational system.
For two consecutive years, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) raised concerns about almost all the public universities running unaccredited programmes.
Thankfully, all of them have worked on such abnormalities to the level that the University of Cape Coast (UCC), which was also cited last year, was declared "clean", having worked on all such unaccredited programmes.
The Daily Graphic wishes to commend the GTEC for whipping the universities in line and, particularly, UCC for achieving such a feat.
We are aware that the GTEC is working behind the scenes to address all such bottlenecks.
We therefore expect all the others to follow the shining example of UCC, such that no one goes into a university and comes out only to realise that the programme he or she pursued has not been accredited.
We learnt that some students had scholarships in the recent past from foreign universities for their second degree but were denied because those universities cross-checked with the GTEC website and realised that the programmes they pursued were not accredited.
This is a very sad situation and should not be allowed to happen to any student again.
Universities in the country must act responsibly to ensure that their actions or inaction do not affect any of their students, whether present or past.
While we support the GTEC that every potential tertiary student should always check its website to ensure that the programmes they are about to pursue are accredited, we urge the GTEC to ensure that it carries out its responsibilities without fear or favour.
GTEC needs to know that it has every backing under the Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 and so, nothing should stand in its way to ensure standards.
The universities, which should know better, should not be seen to be doing the wrong things.
Tertiary education does not come cheap and so the action of the universities should not end up taking huge amounts from students and giving them certificates that are not recognised because either the campus where the students graduated from is unaccredited or the programmes they pursued are unaccredited.
The universities should be seen to be doing the right thing and prospective students must be vigilant by ensuring that the programmes they intend to pursue are recognised by the GTEC.
Additionally, GTEC should crack the whip to ensure that all the universities are doing the right things.
We urge the GTEC to ensure that there is sanity in the university space because certificates from universities in Ghana are recognised highly and standards must not drop.
The universities have their integrity to protect, and such acts should not tarnish their hard-earned reputation.
We trust that both the GTEC and the universities in the country will do the right thing to maintain the enviable position they occupy in the global listing.
The time to act is now!