UTAG kicks against new academic programmes accreditation suspension
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has kicked against the decision by the Ghana Tertiary Commission (GTEC) to suspend the accreditation of new academic programmes for public universities in Ghana.
To UTAG, the decision by the Commission would not serve the interest of tertiary education in Ghana as the world was evolving so rapidly that academic programming must continuously evolve to keep pace.
The National President of UTAG, Prof. Mamudu A. Akudugu, who said this noted that “for a regulator to decide that it will stop accrediting new academic programmes is more or less the case of putting rods in the spokes of success”.
He, therefore, called for a complete overhaul of the accreditation regime in Ghana, adding that this must start with a review or amendment of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020, Act 1023.
He was speaking at the 21st biennial congress of UTAG held at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale.
The event was on the theme: “Labour Unionism and Socioeconomic Transformation in Ghana; can UTAG be the pacesetter?”
The event brought together UTAG executives from all the public universities in the country to discuss welfare of members as well as to swear-in new members.
Last week, the GTEC announced the suspension of the processing of new accreditation applications for academic programmes from all public universities, including the technical universities, with immediate effect until January 1, 2024.
The suspension, however, does not cover the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) at Somanya in the Eastern Region.
According to the Commission, the decision is informed by the need to sanitise the accreditation space as a result of the persistent non-compliance by some institutions with the accreditation requirements of the country.
Addressing the congress, Prof Akudugu intimated that it was about time the country moved away from the “rigid public regulatory regime to a more efficient accreditation framework for accreditation of our academic programmes”.
He expressed the UTAG’s commitment to partner with GTEC and other stakeholders to initiate and push for transformative changes needed in higher education in the 21st century.
“We demand our Employer/Government to, as a matter of urgency, work with us and all other stakeholders to review the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) or in the meantime expand the levels and notches to accommodate our members or take us out of the Spine altogether” he said.
For his part, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum in a speech read for him by the Director of Tertiary Education at the ministry, Prof Yayra Dzakadzie, announced plans by the government to establish five new universities across the country.
When completed, he said, the universities would increase the intake of students in fields that would drive industrialisation in the country.
The Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Yaw Baah, urged UTAG to support efforts to review the constitution of Ghana to limit the powers of the executive, ensure good governance, safeguard democracy and return power to citizens.