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Regional News of Saturday, 10 January 2015

Source: graphic.com

Polytechnics cannot be converted into universities in 2016 – Prof Atsu Ayee

A visiting Professor of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, Professor Joseph Atsu Ayee, has urged the government to discard the idea of converting polytechnics into technical universities in 2016.

He said the polytechnics had not developed the needed curriculum to run degree courses.

Additionally, he said, the polytechnics were not conducting enough research to warrant their conversion into technical universities next year.

Prof. Ayee, who is a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ghana, Legon, suggested that the government should pilot the changeover in some selected polytechnics and push the commencement date for the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities to 10 years later.

He made the call last Thursday in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the 66th Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Prof. Ayee's stance runs contrary to the decision by a technical committee to start the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities in 2016.

He had earlier delivered a lecture on "Using E-Platform for Knowledge and Information Dissemination".

The UK and South African example

Prof. Ayee, who is also the immediate past Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, said the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa converted polytechnics into technical universities, but did not develop the required curriculum to support the courses.

As a result, he said, the transformation of polytechnics into technical universities in the UK and South Africa was not that successful.

"The UK and South Africa failed because they had not been able to transform the curriculum," he said.

‘Hasten slowly’

"I ask for a phase approach before commencement. There must be a transformation of the curriculum. We should hasten slowly. We should not rush it," Prof. Ayee said.

He said there was the need for Ghana to take a cue from the UK and South Africa.