President John Dramani Mahama on Monday performed a ceremony to officially convert the Takoradi Polytechnic into a Technical University.
The Polytechnic, which was established in 1954, is part of six polytechnics which are being converted into technical universities in a first phase.
Speaking at the ceremony at the Takoradi Polytechnic auditorium, President Mahama said the conversion marks the beginning of a new chapter in the country’s technical educational history.
He noted that despite the demand for more skilled hands by industry largely supplied by technical institutions, investment and the exploitation of the full potential of polytechnic institutions, has been minimal over the years.
“Even though Technical and vocational education has been very important to Ghana’s socio-economic growth, the huge potential that it represents as a vehicle for enhancing economic productivity and social transformation has not been exploited to its fullest extent,” President Mahama stated.
He reminded job seekers that “the demands of the job market have changed. Business and industry is no longer looking for the ‘book-long,’ grammar school education that some of us received. The job market today is looking for skilled technical and practical personnel. These skill and competences are in boundless supply in institutions such as the Takoradi Technical University.
President Mahama also added that the Cape Coast and the Tamale Polytechnics are been reassessed to be added to the six already approved institutions ready to be converted into technical universities.
He assured all and sundry that his government will fast-track the passage of the Technical Universities Bill which is at the cabinet level to be sent to Parliament for ratification.
“The Technical Universities Bill has been finalized by the Attorney General’s Department. It is currently under consideration by the National Council for Tertiary Education. It will go to Cabinet and will be presented to parliament when Parliament resumes sitting this month. But I can assure you the bill will be passed at the next sitting of Parliament and in the academic year starting 2016/2017,” the President assured.