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Regional News Thu, 3 Mar 2016

POTAG wants Tamale Poly upgraded now

The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), Tamale Polytechnic chapter, 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.

“We contend that Tamale Polytechnic should not be left out if the government really intends to bridge the development gap between the north and the south.

The educational gap between the north and the south, the non-inclusion of a northern polytechnic on the list of polytechnics to be converted in Technical Universities will be a deliberate attempt by government to further deepen its gap and a recipe to deny the north opportunity.”

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Gov’t ignored POTAG

According to him, government ignored POTAG’s input into the Technical Committee’s report, which recommended the conversion of six of polytechnics.

“POTAG, Tamale Poly chapter wishes to state categorically clear that we are much disappointed in the government for not considering inputs made by POTAG nationwide. The deliberate exclusion of Tamale Poly is unfortunate and has been received with shock.”

Salifu Issahaku said among other recommendations, POTAG admonished government to convert all the 10 polytechnics completely.

He insisted that the Tamale Polytechnic was sufficiently resourced in terms of staffing, infrastructure and laboratories.

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Tamale group reacts

In a related development, a group calling itself the Concerned Youth of Northern Ghana, has described as unfortunate, the non-inclusion of any of the three Polytechnics in the three regions of the north in the first phase of the conversion.

The group’s President, Sulemana Sayibu Dokurugu, in a statement copied Citi News recalled that, “A technical committee was set up last year to visit all the ten Polytechnics in Ghana to see which of them were up to standard and qualifies to be upgraded into a Technical university. The committee then came out with their recommendations that the following five Polytechnics, Sunyani Polytechnic, Takoradi Polytechnic, Accra Polytechnic, Koforidua Polytechnic and Kumasi Polytechnic were qualified.”

We have lost confidence in President Mahama

“The most critical issue which concerns us here is that, Ho Polytechnic was not part of the recommendation so why now? We the concerned citizens of the three regions have lost confidence and trust in John Mahama’s leadership simply because looking at the discrimination and marginalization of these regions where he comes from, that shows that he has woefully failed the good people of the north as well as Ghana.”

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A group of students have also raised red flags in Cape Coast over the exclusion of Cape Coast Polytechnic from the first phase of the conversion.

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.

Source: citifmonline.com