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Conversion of Polytechnics to Varsities serious error – Akilagpa Sawyerr

June 2, 2016, 9:58 a.m.

The President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr, has described the conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Universities as a serious error committed by the Mahama led government.

According to him, his opposition to the move stems from the fact that Ghana has failed over the years to put our polytechnics to enough use.

Several educationists kicked against the turning of Polytechnics into technical universities. Some argued that the polytechnics have not yet developed the necessary curriculum needed to run degree courses as well as the fact that various polytechnics are not conducting enough research to warrant the conversion into technical universities in 2016.

The Technical Committee on the conversion of polytechnics to technical universities, announced its decision to convert all polytechnics into technical universities beginning 2016, albeit in phases.

The conversion of polytechnic into technical universities was one of the manifesto promises of the Mahama administration ahead of the 2012 elections. The purpose of the transformation of all polytechnics into technical universities is to bridge the gap between academia and industry. It is also geared towards training students with employable skills for economic transformation in the country.

Speaking to Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr FM, the respected Jurist, Professor Akilagka Sawyerr stated that nothing changes with the conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities.

“There was always pressure from the polytechnic teachers and students to be like the universities. My view is that there are different functions; and if properly done both levels have objectives to achieve.

“Quite frankly to convert polytechnics to technical universities what changes? The equipment they have, the supplies they have, the funds they have doesn’t change. So what at all changes?”

Professor Akilagka Sawyerr who was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana from 1985-1992 and also served as a member of the Council of State until 2013, said he was not consulted hence his inability to advice the President.