Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, has charged the Governing Councils of Technical Universities to position themselves as they encourage more students to focus on hands on engineering courses for the country’s socio-economic development.
He urged the Councils to begin processes to replace the Bachelor of Technology courses with Bachelor of Science in Engineering to eliminate the stereotype associated with the course and make it more competitive.
“I want to see students apply to the Technical Universities as their first point of call to do engineering and not a situation where the students apply to KNUST to read engineering but because they were denied admission, the students got stuck because they did not see the technical universities as an alternative for them to get engineering education,” he said.
The Minister said this on Friday during the inauguration of four Governing Councils of Technical Universities in Accra and administered the oaths of Office and Secrecy to the council members with the mandate to manage the affairs of the institutions.
The Universities are Kumasi Technical University, Takoradi Technical University, Tamale Technical University and Bolgatanga Technical University.
The Minister said there was high demand for engineering students in the country and urged the Council members to help management of the Universities to develop the technical abilities of students to enhance national development.
“I want to see engineers who are not out there to repair what has been built somewhere else in the world, but want to see engineers who are creating, designing and developing cars or tools that can be used to transform the country,” he said.
He said the country’s technical education must focused on innovation and creativity and stressed the need to move away from the old way of training people to fix what the expatriates had created, instead of training people to build new things.
The Minister urged the universities to collaborate with companies for students to have hands-on experience on the job to bridge the academia and industry gap.
“I will not blame management of universities whose fresh students cannot read and write, but will be surprised if the situation persists after graduation,” he said.
He charged them not to only be interested in the general education of students but also be concern about the progress of the students by finding out the number of graduates who had gain employment.
“You need to have a unique selling advantage about the University to attract students to your institution and also collaborate with companies to produce students who meet the needs of industry players,” he said.
Professor Ben Baffoe-Bonnie, Chairman of Kumasi Technical University, pledged the commitment of the Council to abiding by the mandate of the University and work towards ensuring that the students become more creative in solving problems.
The chairmen of the councils of other universities commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in them to steer the affairs of the universities and pledged to work hard.
The councils are made up of representatives of the various stakeholders including the University Teachers Association of Ghana, Alumni, Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, Government nominees, Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools, Association of Ghana Industries, Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training, Senior and Junior Staff Association, Ghana Employers’ Association, and Students’ Representative Council.