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Regional News of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

Angry Ablakwa sets records straight

Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, has expressed dismay about accusations being leveled against him by students of Cape Coast and some youth groups in the Central region for depriving C-Poly of being converted into technical universities.

According to him, he has no such authority in the conversion of polytechnic into technical university, saying not even my boss, the Minister, so how can I deliberately favour and influence the committees’ decision.

The deputy minister has been accused of smuggling in Ho polytechnic to be converted despite not being in the original list while Cape Coast Polytechnic has been denied.

But speaking to Accra FM in Accra yesterday in a response to the students claims, Mr. Ablakwa described the allegation as misleading.

“There are a lot of fallacies in the claims being made. If it is a matter of the politicians deciding amongst themselves which regional polytechnic will qualify, then Tamale Polytechnic would have been the first because the president hails from the Northern region but that polytechnic is not even in the list.”

The second would have been probably Cape Coast Polytechnic because the Vice President as well as my boss hails from the Central region,” the deputy minister opined.

According to him, they gave the conversion of the polytechnics to experts and professors to handle.

They did their own assessment and came out with the 16-point criteria for which they based their selection on.

He insisted that the committee only advised the ministry and the conversion was carried out based on their advice.

“It is not fair for me to be accused; I have not said anywhere that I will influence the process; it’s not even possible to influence the process,” the deputy minister cried loud.

Meanwhile, government was expected to meet with authorities of the Cape Coast Polytechnic yesterday over claims by a youth group that government influenced a decision not to convert the school into a university.

The group, the Coalition of the Central Region Youth, wants government to add the Cape Coast Polytechnic to the list of polytechnics to be converted into technical universities.

They argue that currently there are no impediments preventing the conversion, hence their call.

Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa announced that his ministry will meet with authorities of the school and the youth group in a move to explain things to them.

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