Freeze on employment affecting tertiary institutions

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
INSET: Prof. Sylvester Achio, Rector of Accra Polytechnic, leading fresh students to matriculate.

The freeze on public sector employment is adversely affecting the operations of public tertiary institutions in the country, the Rector of Accra Polytechnic, Professor Sylvester Achio, has stated.

He said such a policy, coupled with inadequate funds, had affected the activities and expansion drive of many tertiary institutions.

“The economic downturn has not only affected corporate organisations, but educational institutions as well. Our funding has suffered lately with a number of GETFund projects being delayed,” he indicated.

Professor Achio was speaking at the 23rd matriculation ceremony of the polytechnic at its campus in Accra last Friday.

For the 2015/2016 academic year, out of the 6,266 qualified students who applied to the polytechnic, 4,791 students, including 1,861 females, were granted admission.

Inadequate resources
Professor Achio stated that studies had shown that higher education, research and practical training were factors which could contribute to poverty eradication and stimulate sustainable development.

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He, however, said one major challenge the country was facing in the educational sector was inadequate resources, and added that “over the years, resource constraints have undermined our resolve to expand and enhance tertiary education, to the levels that we desire”.

Strategic objective
Notwithstanding the challenges facing tertiary education, Professor Achio said that the polytechnic had implemented a number of measures as part of its strategic objective to increase access to quality polytechnic education in the country.

The measures, according to him, were the introduction of Bachelor of Technology degrees, the revision of the course contents of some of the HND programmes, the introduction of new ones to complement the existing ones and most importantly the quest of the polytechnic council to transform the institution into a technical university by the end of this year.

Professor Achio advised the freshmen to eschew all forms of vices that would negatively affect their aim of achieving academic success, stating that “your success will depend on discipline and your ability to utilise the freedom that is granted to you to your advantage”.