Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education over the weekend charged the country’s tertiary educational institutions to produce the requisite human resource that would propel the economy to higher growth and productivity.
“Our quest as a nation to develop firmly rests on the performance of our educational institutions and government is impressed that you are producing graduates through a blend of competency and industrial training”.
The Minister for Education was speaking at the first congregation of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) at Takoradi on the theme: “Consolidating Industrial Growth in Ghana: The Role of Technical University Education”.
The university successfully turned out a total of 2,940 grauduands of which 91 received Bachelor of Technology degrees, 2,435 received HNDs ,whiles 114 Civil Engineering grauduands received HND competency based training certificates from the National Board for Professional and Technician Examination.
A total of 258 were awarded non-tertiary certificates and 42 received chartered institute of logistics and Transport certificates.
Dr Prempeh said government was committed to placing emphasis on the continuous linkage of academia with industry and the world of work to ensure curriculum relevance to promote employment and self-reliance as well as reducing unemployment.
He mentioned that the collaboration between universities and industries was critical for skills development, innovation and technology transfer and the promotion of entrepreneurship.
Dr Prempeh said, “With the conversion of the polytechnics into technical Universities, the government will reactivate the original aim of linking Technical and Vocational to the Universities to be at the forefront in providing the technical workforce for the one district, one factory programme”.
Touching on issues of the TTU, the minister said government would continue with the retooling and equipping of the engineering and the science laboratories to raise the standards.
Dr Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission who was the guest speaker reiterated that education continued to be a vital tool for national development.
He said for Ghana to rapidly grow its industrial sector, higher technical education must be given the needed boost adding, technical university education was a major tool for productivity enhancement and poverty reduction.
Mr Aubynn mentioned that inadequate application of science and technology had created a gap between the developed and the developing countries; “A well-resourced technical education at the tertiary level holds the best prospect for the application of science and technology, innovation and diffusion. These are so critical to Ghana’s drive for sustainable industrial development”.
The CEO of the Minerals Commission said Ghana must strive to make technical education the centerpiece of its innovation system, increase productivity, sustained progress and remain competitive in the global economy.
Reverend Professor Frank John Eshun, Vice Chancellor of the University said it had taken off on a good note, “and looks promising from where I stand”.
He said the university had reviewed all its curriculum in the competency based training mode in line with modern technology and industrial requirement and also developed new programmes.
The Vice Chancellor said staff orientation to prepare and re-orient them to effectively utilise the capacities collectively to respond to the new mandate and status was also on course.
He mentioned that the university would soon launch Research, Innovation and Development Fund to promote quality applied research that could help spur the socio-economic growth of the country.