Plans are underway to address the infrastructural challenges in the various universities across the country to build their capacity to increase their intake.
The move was in anticipation of more students coming out from the Senior High Schools (SHS) beginning this year due to the free SHS policy introduced three years ago.
When the policy was introduced in 2017, high school enrollment increased by 180,000 students over the previous year.
About 1.2 million students are currently in SHS. The first batch of students under the policy was expected to complete this year.
To enable universities absorb the increased number of students from the SHS this year, the Ministry of Education was making arrangement for a special funding to address the capacity challenges.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced this when he met a delegation of chiefs from Bonaboto in the Upper East Region at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
“The ministry is currently negotiating a special funding under the GETfund to deal with the infrastructural matters in all the tertiary universities in the country,” he said
The President pointed out that the infrastructural capacity of the polytechnics that had been converted into technical universities would be enhanced to enable them increase their intake as well.
“The special funding is almost complete and it is intended to address the capacity issues in the various universities,” he said.
Touching on plans to construct the multipurpose Pwalugu Dam in the region, the President said the government had made plans to complete the dam.
When completed, he said the Pwalugu Dam would be the single biggest investment of public money in any part of the northern part of the country since independence six decades ago.
He explained that the outbreak of the COVID-19 has slowed down the project because the financing of the project involved having relations and engagements with China and the Synohydro Corporation.
That, notwithstanding, he said the process of constructing the dam will soon resume, adding that the Ministry of Finance was currently processing guarantees for funding from the development partners.
“Concrete steps are being taken to bring the project into being,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President further announced plans by the government to convert the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital into a Teaching Hospital for the training of doctors.
The Tong-Raana Kugbilsong Nalebtang Robert Mosore, Paramount Chief of Talensi Traditional Area, who led the delegation, commended the President for his proactive leadership.
“Leaders have fallen short in protecting their citizens in the wake of the COVID-19. Your proactive leadership has saved the lives of Ghanaians and you really deserve commendation,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the President for the development projects in the Bonaboto area over the past three years including the US$1 billion Pwalugu Dam, support to farmers through the Planting for Food and Jobs, among others.