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Politics of Monday, 20 June 2016


Nana Addo playing politics with Poly conversion – Ablakwa

Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the New Priority Party (NPP), is seeking to earn political capital with his proposal to convert all the ten polytechnics into technical universities at a go, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education (Tertiary) has said.

The Mahama administration has already started converting the polytechnics into universities. Six of them have been earmarked in the first phase of the programme.

The NPP flagbearer, while addressing students at the Cape Coast Polytechnic, on Friday, June 17, 2016, at the end of Day 2 of his tour of the Central Region, said the government’s “piecemeal approach” did not bode well for the country.

“We cannot do this policy piecemeal. Either you are doing it for everybody, or you are not doing it at all. We can’t have a situation where some are picked and some are left out of the process. It is not a good idea. Let us make sure that all the polytechnics in our country, in each of the regions, have the same infrastructure and the same level of development. Then we can make the transition for all of them. But pick some and leave some out, then you are disadvantaging and destabilising the ones that you have left out,” he said.

To Mr Akufo-Addo, “everything that John Mahama does, there is no proper preparation and there is no proper following through of the idea”. He, therefore, assured the students of Cape Coast Polytechnic that “when we get the chance [in 2017], we are going to make sure we do all together as one.”

A futre Akufo-Addo administration, he said, is “going to make sure that the infrastructure of the polytechnics are fully developed, and that collaboration between the polytechnics and industry is strong. That is what is going to make technical education the future of our country. …We are not in favour of the piecemeal approach to the conversion. We want all the polytechnics to be considered as one. That is the proper way to go ahead with this policy.”

But speaking in interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5 FM on Monday June 20, Mr Ablakwa said Mr Akufo-Addo made the promise after realising that students at the Cape Coast polytechnic were in favour of the programme.

“Nana is just looking for votes with his concept. When he went to the Cape Coast Polytechnic, he saw that the students want the polytechnic to be converted immediately with the six already converted, so he wanted to say something to get their votes.

“But the technical universities concept is not politics and cannot be used for votes. It is not a political football. It is a very serious exercise that if you do not go about it based on the globally accepted standards, international norms, certificates from the technical universities will not be recognised, will not be respected and so your products will graduate from the technical universities, but the international community will be laughing at us,” he added.