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Regional News of Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Source: The Chronicle

Cape Coast Poly faces collapse if…

The government’s decision to convert some of the country’s polytechnics into technical universities in the 2016/2017 academic year, minus the Cape Coast Polytechnic, could be a recipe for its collapse.

The National Council for Tertiary Education has raised the entry requirements into polytechnics across the country to meet the standards set for technical universities.

This means that prospective applicants are supposed to present grades that would be accepted by any of the universities across the country to enable them gain admission to any of the ten public polytechnics in Ghana.

The NCTE has, however, decided to undertake the conversion exercise in phases, following thorough assessment of the ten public polytechnics and recommended that five out of the ten must be converted in phase one.

They include Accra, Koforidua, Kumasi, Takoradi and Sunyani polytechnics.

According to their assessments, these polytechnics met the key critical indicators as prescribed by the Afeti report (2015).

Following the assessment, Cape Coast, Ho and the Tamale polytechnics were to be converted in phase two, subject to their attainment of some specific requirements and rectification. In the case of the Cape Coast Polytechnic, the assessment team reported that it had weak Governance and Academic leadership and was tasked to retool critical laboratories and workshops.

The Ho Poly, according to the assessment, had a lot of instructors listed as Lecturers who needed to upgrade. According to the report, most of the academic staff with masters’ degrees, did not have the degrees in the specialized areas.

But to the surprise of the Alumni of the Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ho Polytechnic which was earmarked for the second phase by the assessment team had been added to the first five to raise the number to six.

The inclusion of Ho Polytechnic, according to the Alumni of the Cape Coast Polytechnic, Central Region Youth for Development, Fante Students Association and the Central Regional Women Association, was facilitated by the education ministry.

At a press conference, the above named associations claimed that Cape Coast Polytechnic has effected all the necessary recommendations by the assessment team and, therefore, can’t fathom why it should be left out.

They stated that NCTE refusal to include C Poly in the phase one of the conversion exercise, and would lead to decline in enrolment which would eventually lead to the collapse of the polytechnic.

They explained that the school is located in between two pioneers of distance education – The University of Cape Coast and the University of Education, Winneba, and they have been competing for students over the years.

They added that the NCTE’s decision to raise the entry requirement into the Polytechnics would mean that many applicants would prefer going to those polytechnics that have been converted at the expense of C Poly and the rest. The group averred that many applicants would also want to pursue distance education at either the UEW or UCC where there it is much flexibility for them to work and school at the same time.

They are, therefore, demanding answers regarding how the Ho Polytechnic found its way into the first phase.

They are also threatening to sue the NCTE and the Ministry of Education if they go ahead to implement the conversion without C Poly.

Cape Coast Polytechnic was established in 1984 as a second cycle institution. In 1986, it operated under the administration of Ghana Education Service to offer intermediate courses leading to the award of non-tertiary certificates.

In 1992, the Polytechnic was upgraded to tertiary level by PNDCL 321 to run programmes for the award of the Higher National Diplomas.