PRESS RELEASE

 NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION(NCTE)

The attention of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has been drawn to misleading statements by some sections of the general public in respect of the process for conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities.

Considering that the NCTE has supervised the entire process so far as is constitutionally expected of us, we wish to put the records straight for the information of the general public as follows:

 

1.     His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama in his 2013 State of the Nation Address announced that the Polytechnics would be converted to Technical Universities to train high level technical skills in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) areas for the country’s economic and national development agenda. Following this, the Ministry of Education in September 2013 set up an eight-member Technical Committee to among other things develop a road map for implementing the policy.  Members of the Committee were: Dr. George Afeti (Chairman), (Former Secretary General, Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa and Former Principal of Ho Polytechnic); Cdr (Rtd.) J. A Combey (Association of Ghana Industries); Dr J.V.K Afun and Prof. G.S.K. Aflakpui (Representatives of Conference of Rectors of Polytechnics); Mr. Kwame Dattey (Executive Secretary, National Accreditation Board); Dr Albert Sunnu (Senior Lecturer, KNUST); Mrs. Divina Nkwantabisa (State Attorney, Attorney General’s Dept); Prof. Mahama Duwiejua (Executive Secretary, NCTE); and Mr. Evans T. Ankomah-Asare (NCTE, Secretary to the Committee).

2.  The Committee’s report which was submitted to the Minister of Education in December, 2014, recommended among other things the characteristics of a Technical University and eligibility criteria for assessment for converting a polytechnic to a technical university. A draft Technical Universities Bill was also developed by the Committee.

3.      The Technical Committee’s report and the draft Bill were referred by the Minister of Education to the NCTE for comments. Council endorsed and recommended the report and its implementation strategy to the Minster of Education.

4.       Following this, a stakeholder’s consultative forum was held at the LA Palm Beach Resort on January 6, 2015. Participants included Rectors, Vice-Chancellors, Principals of Colleges of Education, Representatives of the National Union of Ghana Students, Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students, Teachers’ and Workers’ Unions of the Polytechnics, the Association of Ghana Industries, Conference of Private Universities, and other major stakeholders. The forum discussed the Technical Committee Report and the draft Bill. It was unanimously agreed at this forum that the conversion should not be done wholesale, instead it should be done in phases based on an assessment of each polytechnic.

5.   The NCTE in July 2015, constituted four Teams of Expert Panels whose terms of reference were among other things to conduct a preparedness assessment of the 10 Polytechnics to determine their current status in relation to the conversion, recommend where possible the Polytechnics which meet the criteria for conversion.

6.    The Expert Panels were made up of the following: Prof. Anthony Apeke Adimado, Dr. Joseph Ofei Darko, Ing. Francis Laako Larkai, Mr. William Gariba Akanwariwiak, Prof.  F.K. Rodrigues, Mr. Lawson Anakwa, Mr. Sampson Damtey Tetey, Mr. Isaac Boamah, Mr. Richard Ajei, Dr J. B. Hayfron-Acquah, Dr. Geophrey Anornu and Mr. John Dadzie Mensah. Officers from NCTE and NAB served as Secretaries to the Panels.

7.     The Panels visited and assessed each Polytechnic based on the agreed eligibility criteria. The Panels further expanded the criteria to a sixteen (16) point check list to make the assessment more scientific.  The Expert Panels worked in sub-groups and submitted a consolidated final report to the NCTE on July 28, 2015. It is important to emphasise that the Expert Panels report to the NCTE was advisory.

8.    The Technical Committee of the NCTE studied the Expert Panel report and subsequently submitted recommendations to the Minister of Education for consideration.

9.      It is worth stating that in order to provide insight into how the Expert Panel conducted its assessment, it was agreed that their report be presented at a debriefing session on September 7, 2015. This was at the end of a visit by a German delegation comprising representatives of some German Universities of Applied Science and Technology, Technical Universities and captains of industry led by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) who agreed to collaborate with Ghana in the implementation of the Technical Universities concept in Ghana. The session was attended by Rectors, representatives of unions of the Polytechnics, the NCTE, NAB, the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders.  The Lead Panel Team Leader Prof. A.A. Adimado who did the presentation made it clear that the Expert Panel’s report was only advisory and was subject to review by the NCTE which set it up.   

10.  The Ministry of Education also convened another consultative meeting on January 12, 2016 involving representatives of NCTE, National Accreditation Board (NAB), Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Lead Chairman of the Expert Panel. The meeting was to consider the NCTE and the Expert Panel reports and take a final decision on polytechnics which should be listed in the Schedule of the Draft Bill as those to be converted to Technical Universities under Phase 1. The meeting unanimously agreed on a list of polytechnics to be listed in the Bill based on expert advice. The report of this consultative committee is in the process of being published by the NCTE in the true spirit of transparency and objectivity which has underpinned this entire process.

11.  The Technical Universities Bill will soon be considered by Parliament for subsequent passage into a Technical Universities Act.

We wish to make it clear that the fact that some polytechnics may not have been listed in the Schedule of the Bill when passed does not suggest that the door is closed to them.

Polytechnics that do not meet the conversion criteria under Phase 1 of the conversion would be assisted to upgrade their facilities to meet the eligibility criteriaWhen ready, such polytechnics may apply to the NCTE for re-assessment.  If upon re-assessment the NCTE is satisfied that the minimum requirements have been met the appropriate recommendation would be made to the Minister for addition of that polytechnic to the Schedule.

The NCTE wishes to assure the public that the whole conversion process so far has been done in a fair and transparent manner.

We wish to advise that people desist from utterances, actions and threats intended to jeopardize or derail the progress so far made towards the agenda to convert our Polytechnics to Technical Universities.  The conversion policy ultimately is for all polytechnics and there is therefore no need for division and rancour over a process which is intended to benefit the entire polytechnic community.  Instead all well-meaning Ghanaians should lend their support towards this noble effort which we all agree is in the national interest.

Issued by Management of the National Council for Tertiary Education