Dr Kwame Agyemang Boakye, Chairman, Sunyani Technical University (STU) Governing Council, has launched a GH¢300 million education endowment to push human resource and infrastructure development.
This was in line with the celebration of the school’s 55th anniversary this year.
He said the ‘STU Endowment Fund’ had been targeted to mobilise GH¢50 million by the close of 2022 and therefore appealed to individuals, particularly the more than 40,000 alumni to contribute to the fund.
The theme for the anniversary is “STU 55 Years of Progress and Achievement in TVET and Engineering Education: Mobilising Excellence for Leadership in Ghana’s Industrialization Agenda”.
Dr Boakye who pledged GH¢10,000.00 in support of the fund, explained the University’s numerical strength had grown, saying it was therefore imperative for the institution to devise strategies to generate the needed revenue to implement its Development and Strategic Master Plans.
Last year, the STU launched its Strategic and Master Plans which spelt out the development of the University within a five year period (2020-2025) as well as focus on the long term sustainable infrastructure development respectively.
Dr Boakye indicated that Technical Universities (TU) ought to be positioned strategically to form the natural technology nodes for national development, saying, “to be successful in this direction we must work consciously to ensure that TUs are appropriately directed, resourced, supported and managed.”
He expressed discomfort about the poor road network on campus, indicating the road network to the Waterloo campus which housed some faculties including the University’s ultra-modern AVIC laboratory and the Mechatronic Laboratory was in a deplorable condition.
“During the dry season, the road is engulfed with dust whilst it becomes muddy during the rainy season,” Dr Boakye stated, and appealed to the government to provide an asphaltic overlay for the road in particular and other existing roads on campus.
In a brief history, Professor Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, the Vice Chancellor explained the STU started in 1967 as Sunyani Technical Institute (SUTECH) established by the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah to offer opportunity for middle school leavers, and later Junior Secondary School graduates to undergo hands-on training in craft programmes.
The programmes included intermediate block-laying and concreting, carpentry and joinery, furniture craft, painting and decoration, electrical installation, motor vehicle mechanics, welding and fabrication.
In 1997, the institute was upgraded to a Polytechnic following the government’s decision to lay more emphasis on TVET and it then became Sunyani Polytechnic, running a wide range of tertiary, non-tertiary and certificate programmes, with a focus to produce middle-level manpower graduates.
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said in 2016, the Institution was converted from Polytechnic to Technical University with a new mandate to provide higher education and awarded its own degrees, diplomas and other certificates in engineering, science and technology-based disciplines, TVET as well as Applied Arts and related disciplines, as enshrined in the
Technical Universities ACT 2016 (ACT 922 as amended).
He, therefore, paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the institution including the chiefs, opinion leaders and the late Dr Nkrumah under whose instrumentality, as well as the successive governments whose vision helped upgrade the institution from a mere Technical Institute to the present day University.
“We equally acknowledge the great leadership of the current President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his great vision of transforming the TVET sector of the country which has gone a long way in retooling the STU on a colossal scale regarding the AVIC Laboratory Project”, Prof Adinkrah-Appiah stated.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister said the government recognised and placed high premium on TVET, as a key driver and pillar to national development.
As such President Akufo-Addo’s administration had given TVET higher priority and attention by introducing fundamental reforms to mainstream the sector for the benefit of the youth.
“The ultimate aim is to secure for ourselves, a skilled workforce to promote industrialization and self-reliance”, she said, explaining TVET held huge potential for the development of human capital for nation-building.”