The Rector of the Takoradi Polytechnic, Rev Prof Daniel Nyarko, has advocated for upgrading of polytechnic institutions in the country into technical universities to offer a logical route for academic progression for students.
He said if the nation wanted to consolidate her middle-income status and strive for rapid industrialisation and economic growth, Polytechnic education must be accorded priority attention.
Rev Prof Nyarko made the appeal at the 12th Congregation of the Takoradi Polytechnic in Takoradi, on Saturday.
He argued that upgrading polytechnics into technical universities would be more cost-effective in producing the skilled manpower resources required by the country towards fast-tracking national development instead of starting new technical universities from the scratch.
The Rector cited some European and Southern Asian countries that adopted such education policies that propelled their economies to greater heights.
Prof Nyarko disclosed that the polytechnic had acquired over 150-acre plots of land at Akatakyi in the Ahanta West District for the establishment of a School of Petroleum Studies.
The project, which would commence next year, is being funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) with $10 million dollars.
He said it would involve the construction of 15 approved projects including lecture theatres, laboratories, recreational and workshop facilities, adding that the polytechnic had signed two memoranda of understanding with two investors that would provide modern staff and student accommodation and a medical facility at the new campus.
In all, the Polytechnic awarded 2,732 graduates with degrees and diplomas comprising 68 Bachelor of Technology degrees, 2,609 Higher National Diplomas (HND) while 55 graduates received civil engineering certificates in competency-based training.
Prof Nyarko said in the HND programme 59 graduates had First Class, 1,154 Upper Class,1,253 Second Class Lower and 150 Passes whilst 12 graduates had First Class, 45 Second Class Upper and 11 Second Class Lower in the Bachelor of Technology Degree programme.
He said the polytechnic was poised to take maximum advantage of the oil discovery and, had therefore, established six ultra-modern petrochemical and hydraulic laboratories, which would enable the institution to offer courses in the emerging oil and gas industry.
In an address read on his behalf, Mr Lee Ocran, the Minister of Education, commended the Takoradi Polytechnic for setting the pace for quality technical training in the country.
He said polytechnic education provides knowledge and entrepreneurial skills to the human resource-base of the nation and entreated graduates to be innovative in their respective fields of endeavour to accelerate national development.
Mr Ocran acknowledged the understanding showed by the Polytechnic Teacher Association of Ghana (POTAG) during the implementation of the Single Spine pay policy and assured them of government’s commitment to improve upon their welfare.
Prof William Otoo Ellis, the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who graced the occasion, expressed the hope that his presence would strengthen the relationship between the two education institutions.
He said the Polytechnic, which falls under the category of Science and Technology would bolster partnership between them.
Mr Charles Ayivi, an HND Statistics student, was adjudged the overall best student and received a laptop and a cheque of GHȼ1,000.