The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, has encouraged the country’s technical universities to develop their areas of specialisation for which they are uniquely identified with, bearing in mind their strengths for success.
He said the country’s technical universities must guard against “blind imitation” and institutional duplication or sameness in their agenda-setting plans to fulfil their mandate of uniquely contributing to the nation’s socio-economic progress.
Prof. Yankah was speaking at the national launch of the Partnership for Applied Sciences (PASS) between the Kumasi Technical University (KTU) and the Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU) with the Bonn-Rhein Seig University of Applied Science in Germany on building the capacities of the two institutions.
The four-year project, with financial and technical support from the German academic exchange services, has a 200,000 Euros budgetary allocation.
In 2016, the Government of Ghana sought the support of the German Government for the German Universities of Applied Sciences to partner and help build the capacities of Ghanaian technical universities.
Subsequently, the KTU and CCTU and three German universities of applied sciences namely, TH Koln University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule-Bonn-RheinSeig (H-BRS) University and the Internationale Hochschule Bad Honnef -Bonn signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the partnership on the PASS project.
The two Ghanaian institutions will develop proposals with technical assistance from Hochschule-Boon-RheinSeig (H-BRS) university, to promote the country’s development drive.
The Kumasi Technical University will under the project, put up a Green Campus project, while the soon-to-be launched Cape Coast Technical University will construct and operate an Eco guest house on its campus.
Prof. Yankah said the government would work to put in place a free technical and vocational education system that would run parallel to the high school with the aim of improving the human capital, promote innovation and create new job opportunities, as well as generate income and sustain development.
He said the government would work to raise the value of technical and vocational education and produce talented young men and women to hasten the nation’s industrial and technological development, and pointed out that it would be suicidal for the technical universities to slip back into centres of business and humanities education.
Rather, he said, each technical university should develop its institutional niche, an area of specialisation for which the university was uniquely identified bearing in mind its strengths for success.
The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education, Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi, said Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) remained one sure way the government would take to empower the youth with relevant skills and competencies to take advantage of emerging jobs in the various sectors of the economy.
Consequently, she said, the government was taking steps to support capacity building in the TVET sub-sector through the realignment of TVET training initiatives and improvement in infrastructural development.
Prof. Jurgen Bode of the H-BRS stressed the need for technical universities not to fall for the system where promotions were based solely on academic publications to encourage staff to engage with industry.