Government takes step to convert polytechnics into technical universities
 
Posted on: 2014-Mar-31        
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A government delegation is off to Germany to study how it converted its Polytechnics into technical universities.

The team which includes Executive Secretary of National Inspectorate Board, Dr. George Afeti and is led by Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Education Minister, left Accra Monday night.

"Everybody knows that [Germany's] technical universities are one of the best in the world so we are going to understudy them", Ablakwa told Joy News.

This trip will be seen by government as a giant step in fulfilling a 2012 campaign promise made by President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to convert polytechnics into technical universities.

There is a stigmatisation of vocational and technical education as youths often opt for training in so-called white-collar professions.

Most Ghanaian youths have turned their back on technical education seen as important economic turnarounds for countries like Singapore, Korea.

According to the Chairman of Conference of Rectors of Polytechnics (CORP) Prof. G.K.S. Aflakpui, President Mahama's decision to convert polytechnics into technical universities has brought a lot of joy to authorities of polytechnics across the country.

Ghana has 10 Polytechnics - one in every region.

In parts of Europe, converted Polytechnics are called University of Applied Sciences. In Germany it is known as Fachhochschule.

University of Applied Sciences (UAS) are designed with a focus on vocational degrees, especially in technology, engineering, business, and health professions. The German Universities of Applied Sciences enjoy a high reputation with the German local industry.

Germany has 216 UASs.

The Deputy Education Minister said the delegation will be meeting some heads of these universities, and Germany's Education secretary Johanna Wanka.

The first intake of students into these technical universities in Ghana is expected to start by 2016.