President John Dramani Mahama has inaugurated a new building for the faculty of Engineering of the Koforidua Polytechnic in the Eastern Region.
The polytechnic is one of the six polytechnics converted into technical universities and at the inaugural ceremony last Wednesday; President Mahama urged the converted technical universities to focus on their core mandate of providing technical and vocational training.
The new facility has 10 workshops, five laboratories, one engineering laboratory and a conference centre, offices and lecture halls.
President Mahama said laboratory equipment worth GH¢8 million was to be installed at the polytechnic to enhance skill training and revamp the mechanical laboratory of the polytechnic.
The project, according to him, was part of a package of which two other polytechnics, namely the Tamale and Ho polytechnics, were to benefit.
Touching on polytechnics that did not meet the criteria for the conversion, President Mahama said a crash programme for infrastructure and faculty development would be undertaken to enable them also to become technical universities.
He said the reason for converting polytechnics into technical universities was to provide universities in all the 10 regions of the country and also to end the controversy surrounding placements and academic progression that had plagued polytechnics.
He said in the not-too-distant future, the technical universities would be expected to provide partnership and training, while collaborating with industries and businesses through memoranda of understanding.
President Mahama gave an assurance that the government was committed to supporting technical and vocational training by providing the resources needed to make young people contribute their quota to national development.
He commended the Koforidua Polytechnic for being one of the six polytechnics to be selected as a technical university and again assured the institution that the GETFund would soon start the construction of an auditorium for the polytechnic.
The Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said 2,500 young Ghanaians with Mathematics and Science backgrounds had been shortlisted to be interviewed after an entrance examination after which they would be employed to teach in the technical universities.
He said he hoped the technical universities concept would not disappoint President Mahama for bringing about the concept.
The Rector of the Koforidua Polytechnic, Professor Smile Gavua Dzisi appealed for a modern auditorium for the polytechnic.
She expressed appreciation to the government for converting the Koforidua Polytechnic into a technical university.