The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has engaged stakeholders on the amendment of CSIR Act 521 (1996) to incorporate higher education and offer clearer mandate to its College of Science and Technology (CCST).
The College was birthed out of CSIR’s research and development experiences to increase scientific capability needed to speed up Ghana’s socioeconomic development but authorities said a clearer mandate had become imperative to meet conditions under the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission.
Professor Mark Appiah, the President of CCST, told the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of an external stakeholders’ meeting: “We need to do this [amendment] because CSIR has established a graduate programme, but Ghana the Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) would want to see a clearer mandate.
“Actually, we think the legal mandate is there but it will become much clearer if the existing Act is finally amended to include the running of higher education,” he said.
He said the prevailing law did not specifically mention higher education training but a number of Acts talked about the Council being able to establish it with the approval of the sector Minister.
He said the amendment was to help meet GTEC requirement to have a legal backing, adding: “Without a legal backing that means that we may have to post a bond of 750,000 Ghana cedis so that if the University goes bankrupt or something happens that becomes the security.”
Earlier, Prof Victor Agyeman, the Director-General of CSIR, encouraged participants to advance strong reasons, either for the CCST to remain public entity or go private but staying focused on its mandate.
“Whatever decision we take should be well articulated,” he said, after which a memo would be drafted for onward submission to cabinet and parliament through the sector Ministry.
He reminded participants that the applied science and technology college was created to serve the needs of industries, businesses and local communities through CSIR special firm-based research and community engagement.
Prof Agyeman said the amendment of the CSIR Act 521 would see the large number of Council members slashed from 21 to 13 and enhance rapid decision-making and lessen cost.