Heads of technical universities have been tasked to make the difference between their institutions and traditional universities manifest.

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku–Agyeman, said the mission of the technical universities is to deliver practical teaching and learning, applied research with emphasis on technology development, adaptation and transfer.

“You are to bring the world of work into the classroom and place practical knowledge and research results at the disposal of industry.

The Minister made these remarks at the official inauguration of eight technical universities at the Ministry last Monday.

They are Accra Technical University, Koforidua Technical University, Sunyani, Technical University, Cape Coast Technical University, Takoradi Technical University, Kumasi Technical University and Tamale Technical University.

Background

In 2013, President John Dramani Mahama, in his State of the Nation’s Address, declared the intention of government to convert polytechnics into technical universities.

Following this declaration, a technical committee was put together under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.

It charged the National Council of Tertiary Education to come up with strategies for the conversion.

The committee, with representation from key stakeholders, examined various models of skills-driven industry to effectively address specific needs.

The model the committee chose is akin to that of German Universities of Applied Sciences.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman urged the newly converted technical universities to avoid repeating some of the past mistakes.

“The absence of a clear transformation strategy was one of the significant flaws of the upgrading process and the ramification of this is still evident in the polytechnic system.”

Professor Mohammed Salifu said the governing councils for the polytechnics have immediately become interim councils of the respective technical universities.

He said the National Council for Tertiary Education shall put representatives on the interim councils to facilitate the decision-making during the transition.

“All key officers, including rector, vice rector, registrar, finance officer librarian and others shall immediately be re-appointed interim vice chancellor, pro–vice chancellor , interim registrar and others and these appointments shall hold until the councils go through the prescribed processes to appoint the substantive officers by June 30, 2017.

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By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey/dailyguideafrica.com

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