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Ministry to crack down on tertiary institutions operating without authorisation

July 5, 2017, 12:45 p.m.

The Ministry of Education has signalled its intention to crack down on tertiary institutions operating in the country without authorisation from the National Accreditation Board (NAB).

The move is to streamline and inject sanity into the operation of tertiary institutions in the education sector.

The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, who dropped the hint in an interview, said the current situation where anyone just got up to start a tertiary institution was not healthy.

“They are polluting the quality of education and the graduates that are produced by them,” he said, adding, “This clamp down will be very soon.”

Institutions without authorisation

Currently, there are over 20 private tertiary institutions operating in the country which are offering certificates and diplomas without the authorisation of the NAB.

The decision to clamp down on such unauthorised institutions forms part of a move by the government to undertake major policy changes concerning tertiary education in the country.

Speaking on the way forward for tertiary education in the country, Prof. Yankah said there would be a major move to shut all such institutions down.

No authority

“It is our responsibility before we start any move towards this policy change to ensure that we shut down all unauthorised tertiary institutions operating without accreditation from the NAB,” he emphasised.

Prof Yankah said the challenge was that the NAB did not have the authority to stop operators of such institutions.

He said the NAB had the right to pronounce them as unlicensed but had to work with the Ghana Police Service to ensure that they were shut down.

He advised potential students and parents to constantly contact the NAB to be sure that the school that their children were applying to were accredited to run tertiary programmes in the country.

Prof Yankah said it was frustrating for a student to pay for tertiary education only to be told at the end of the programme that the certificate he or she was holding was not valid because the institution that awarded it was unregistered.

Challenges faced by private operators

Referring to challenges operators of private tertiary institutions faced, Prof Yankah said it was embarrassing and frustrating to run a tertiary institution in the country.

“Doing business in the education sector is a big embarrassment, I must say. Investors put so much money and energy as well as ideas to come out with universities and regulations alone bog them down,” he said.

Government committed to private sector

Prof Yankah said the private sector alone took about 40 per cent of the burden of expenditure off the shoulders of the government.

He said the government was committed to attracting the private sector into education to relieve it of the burden of catering for the 40 per cent.

He questioned why a government would not encourage the private sector to invest more in the education, adding that from a distance it looked as though there was no future in education for the private sector.

“But we are saying that we are particularly interested in the private sector and will make the doing of business much easier but without sacrificing quality in service delivery,” Prof Yankah said.