General News Wed, 31 May 2006

Resolve challenges faced by Polytechnics - GNUPS

Accra, May 31, GNA - The Ghana Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) on Wednesday urged the Government to take immediate steps to resolve the challenges confronting Polytechnics to enable them to play their roles as engine for national development.

It said Ghana's quest for technological advancement could not be achieved without Polytechnic Education and it must, therefore, be held in high esteem.

Mr Martin Kwame Sedem, National President, GNUPS, told journalists at a press conference in Accra that the inability of the Government to find lasting solutions to problems in Polytechnic Education had resulted in frequent strikes by students, lecturers and workers in the Polytechnic Community.

He said after more than a decade of Polytechnic Education in Ghana, there was an "absence of a clear mandate and common understanding of the role of Polytechnics in national development". This, he noted, had compounded the myriad of problems faced by the Polytechnics such as ill-defined academic progression and career advancement pathways, as well as unfair salary and remuneration packages.

Mr Sedem said the process of providing resources for the Polytechnics to offer degree programmes had been slow. "Only one out of the 10 Polytechnics in the country has so far been given accreditation to run the Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) programme.


"The longer this prejudice hangs over Polytechnic Education, the slower the pace of the nation's techno-economic development. This is because a well-trained technical workforce is a pre-requisite to a knowledge-based economy."

Mr Sedem said discrimination in the placement of Higher National Diploma (HND) holders in some public service organisations could also lead to social unrests and called for Government=92s intervention to resolve the issue.

He further appealed to the Government to be committed to the plight of the Polytechnic branch of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) to forestall the disruption of the academic calendar.

"Any further delay in the negotiations and conclusion of these concerns will compel the students of the Polytechnics to take to the streets to demonstrate in support of POTAG and TEWU," he said.

Source: GNA