A five-member committee set up to review the role and mandate of the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has recommended that the two institutions should be merged into one composite entity.
To be known as the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), the institution will be headed by a director-general, with three deputies, each of whom will be assigned clear-cut roles.
For instance, one of the deputies will be in charge of accreditation and quality assurance, another one will be in charge of research, while the third will be in charge of administration.
The committee, chaired by a former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Jerome Djangmah, has Prof. J.N. Ayertey, Mr Kwesi Eshun, Mrs Lucy Brimpong Ayeh and Ms Ecclis Andoh as other members.
Sharing the recommendations with the Daily Graphic in an interview, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, explained that the recommendations were actually proposals which had been presented to the Ministry of Education for consideration.
“Currently, we are deliberating on the various issues raised in the report, after which it will be forwarded to Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament for approval,” he said.
Prof. Yankah said the committee did an extensive work, having to travel to other countries to understudy best practices in contemporary times.
Prof. Yankah explained that currently, the work of the two institutions, the NAB and the NCTE, virtually constituted a duplication.
In terms of hierarchy, he said, it was not clear which was superior and was hopeful that the merger would help avoid duplications.
The situation as it existed now was creating unnecessary hierarchical problems, he said, adding that currently, one was reporting directly to the President, while the other to the Ministry of Education, a development which, he said, was not the best.
He explained that the merger was to ensure greater harmony and efficiency and streamline their activities and ensure that their terms of reference do not overlap.
Prof. Yankah added that the merger would also give the institution a focus and facilitate coordination.
He said the ministry was keen on strengthening the regulatory body to be able to work effectively and efficiently.
Mandate of the NCTE
The NCTE was established in 1993 to, among others, advise the minister on the development of institutions of tertiary education in Ghana.
It is also intended to enquire into the financial needs of tertiary institutions and advise the minister accordingly.
It is also to recommend national standards and norms, including standards and norms on staff, costs, accommodation and time utilisation for the approval of the minister.
Additionally, the council is required to monitor the implementation of any approved national standards and norms by the institutions and to advise the minister generally on rates of remuneration and other conditions of service of staff members of the institutions.
Mandate of the NAB
The NAB, on the other hand, was established under the National Accreditation Board Act 2007, Act 744 as the government’s agency responsible for the regulation, supervision and accreditation of tertiary institutions in the country.
It is also to advise the President on the grant of a charter to a private tertiary institution.
The NAB also accredits both public and private tertiary institutions with regard to the contents and standards of their programmes, as well as determine, in consultation with the appropriate institution or body, the programme and requirements for the proper operation of that institution and the maintenance of acceptable levels of academic or professional standards.