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General News of Friday, 29 July 2016

Source: Atinkaonline.com

Polytechnic conversion will increase unemployment - Educationist

A renowned educationist and Director of the Center for IT Professional Development (CIPD) at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Dr. Peter Ebo Tobin, has mentioned that the decision of government to upgrade the 10 polytechnics to technical universities would increase the unemployment rate if the focus is on humanities and social sciences.

He said the original idea behind the establishment of the polytechnics is to revolutionize technical and vocational training in Ghana. And that it seems the polytechnics have lost sight of this fact.

They now do more of the courses in the social sciences and humanities which constitute 65% in their course schedule whilst overlooking the core mandate of its existence being technical and vocational training. This, he said constitute only 35% of its course schedule.

With the current state of the polytechnics, it seems we are losing focus on their core mandate. He made the submissions in an interview with Obidihyie Kwaku Atiemo on Atinka FM’s political programme, “Simpieso” Thursday.

Dr. Tobin further explained that the Polytechnic Act 2007 enumerates certain steps that should be taken to upgrade their status to become fully fledged technical universities.

According to him, where the government needs to direct resources to is by investing significantly in the technical and vocational aspects, which have been ignored all these years.

At the inception of the polytechnic education to date, the designing of the curriculum was within the domain of NAPBTEX but if the academic board takes over when it becomes a university, it may be tempted to add course of humanities in order to generate revenue.

He concluded that in our quest to make the polytechnics efficient and effective, government must focus on the vocational, technical courses as well as the sciences.