Govt secures $100m to upgrade facilities in technical institutions

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh
Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

The government has secured a $100-million facility from the AVIC Exim, to resource technical schools, polytechnics and technical universities in the country beginning 2019.

The amount would be used to upgrade infrastructure, provide equipment and train.

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced this in a speech read on his behalf by the  Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, at the third Congregation of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU).

A total of 2,027 students  graduated in Bachelor of Technology and Higher National Diploma (HND).

The President said there was the need for technical universities to train students in skills that would enable them to become self-employed or make them marketable in the job market after graduation.


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Staying within mandate

This task, he said, was attainable if technical universities stayed within their mandate and remained technical in terms of structures, programmes, process and practice.

 “We will continue to work relentlessly to ensure that the needed support is provided to allow our technical universities to run smoothly,” he said.

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Nana Akufo-Addo said the government was undertaking several reforms to improve learning outcomes to ensure that they became relevant and linked to industry.

 TVET Reforms

These reforms, the President said, included those in TVET, which had led to a five-year strategic plan for the sector saying, “the success or otherwise of these reforms will depend largely on the technical universities, which are responsible for generating ideas and formulating policies and transforming them into practice.”

The world today, the President observed ,was moving with its growing complexities and interconnectivity, which had witnessed several phenomenal advances in technology that had changed lives drastically.

“In engineering, aviation, health, communications, pharmaceutical and many other areas, our lives have been transformed almost beyond recognition within a generation,” he said.

He said the challenge for a developing country like Ghana, “is to harness these technologies in meaningful ways to improve upon the lives of our people, and further to push the frontiers of human ingenuity, creativity and innovation.”

Today’s job market

President Akufo-Addo said the reality of today’s job market had moved beyond national frontiers into the global space and the concept of a job for life was no longer guaranteed.

“Instead, in preparing our young people for the lifetime work, we must provide them with the tools that they need to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world,” he said.

Lecturer- students ratio

The Vice-Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Prof John Frank Eshun, said the institution was preparing for the anticipated high number of qualified students from  the free senior high school programme.

In addressing students to lecturer ratio, he appealed to the Ministry of Education to speed up the process of granting TTU with the financial clearance to replace retired and deceased staff.

“This has become urgent because the admission intake for this academic year went up significantly and it is going to adversely affect our students to lecturer radio. There is, therefore,  the need to recruit as soon as possible in order for the students and lecturers not to suffer unduly,” he said.

He urged the graduating students to be worthy ambassadors of the TTU.