Outcry over conversion of polytechnics needless – POTAG
The National Secretariat of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), has described as needless agitations by some polytechnics who have not been shortlisted for the first phase of the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities.
Two out of the four polytechnics which did not meet the 16 point criteria, Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics, have accused government of masterminding to get them out of the conversion.
But speaking to Citi News, President of POTAG, Emmanuel Agyemang, urged the four polytechnics to cooperate with the expert panel and the National Tertiary Council for future assessment to facilitate their conversion.
“The technical committee looked at the preparedness of every polytechnic on its own merit and if you look at the various areas and items that they were supposed to have satisfied, I don’t think that the government will intentionally leave you out when you have all the requisite qualification.”
“The Deputy Minister made it clear that they are in the process and to enable these polytechnics also upgrade their systems and of course meet the criteria.
The strengths and weaknesses of these institutions are not the same so it is likely that some may even meet and even pass the criteria and if that happens; why should there be a threat?I don’t think that’s the way to go anyway.”
POTAG wants Tamale Poly upgraded now
The Tamale Polytechnic Chapter of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), has given government up to September 2016, to convert the Tamale Polytechnic into a technical university.
“As a matter of urgency, POTAG, Tamale Polytechnic chapter on behalf of the good people of the Northern Region and all stakeholders, appeal to government to reconsider its decision and upgrade Tamale Polytechnic into a Technical University by September 2016,” the association’s President, Salifu Issahaku stated.
Salifu Issahaku at a news conference in Tamale maintained that government’s decision to exclude the Tamale Polytechnic from the first phase of the conversion is misplaced.
Similarly, a group in Cape Coast has also been protesting against the exclusion of Cape Coast Polytechnic in the first phase, and have vowed a massive demonstration if nothing is done about the situation.
Why the gradual implementation?
A Deputy Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has denied reports that Government is being selective with the process.
Government says the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities, will take place in September this year, with six polytechnics.
It has explained that it cannot convert all the polytechnics because a Technical Committee set up to advice it on the conversion, recommended that the exercise must be done progressively to satisfy the requirements of becoming a technical university.
The Minister further clarified that government cannot not just upgrade polytechnics without assessing the varying levels of infrastructure and capacity, hence the need for the implementation of the conversion in phases.