Professor Samuel Erasmus Alnaa, the Vice Chancellor of the Bolgatanga Technical University, has called for increased funding allocation to the technical universities for them to expand infrastructure to train result-oriented and problem-solving graduates.
He said inadequate allocations could not position them well to play their established roles of leading integrated innovative skills development through vigorous Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) to create jobs and reduce unemployment.
“Last year, each of the 10 technical universities got just GH₵1million. With all sincerity, what infrastructure project can a technical university undertake with this amount?
“I am aware that even the already endowed traditional universities get tens of millions of Cedis each, but we the technical universities should just manage with GH₵1million. Let us not as a nation behave like the proverbial pig which litters its piglets and then turn around and lie on them thus suffocating them to death,” he said.
Speaking at the 10th Congregation of the Bolgatanga Technical University, Professor Alnaa indicated that the University had not been able to access its annual allocations from the GETFund for both faculty and infrastructure development, in the past years.
“Staff undertaking studies are unable to get refund for their school fees, thereby making it difficult for them to pay subsequent fees. Also, all our infrastructure projects have been abandoned by the contractors because they cannot redeem their certificate of payment from GETFund,” he revealed.
Professor Alnaa noted that the University was determined to put the necessary structures in place including developing a 10-year development plan to serve as a strategic document of the University.
“Plans are also advanced to introduce new programmes including mining engineering, process engineering and welding to take care of the growing mining industry in Northern Ghana”.
The Vice Chancellor expressed gratitude that the government funded a multipurpose workshop constructed by the AVIC International, with ultramodern teaching and learning equipment installed to provide commercial services to the public and set the pace for practical learning for engineering programmes in the University.
However, he said, the University continued to face infrastructure deficit, adding that although the university since 2017 had engaged relevant stakeholders including President Akufo-Addo regarding the lack of a lecture theatre complex which was impeding academic work, there seemed to be no help in sight.
He said “the situation was more precarious when the University had to give out about 10 lecture rooms for the installation of electrical and electronics equipment for teaching and learning.
The University is therefore appealing to our President to come to our aid as this dire situation is fast suffocating the growth of this young university.”
Professor Francis Abantanga, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, noted that TVET held the key to reducing unemployment through entrepreneurial skills development and proposed a motivation package to be designed for students who chose to study TVET programmes.
He urged the graduates to use the knowledge acquired to take advantage of youth enterprise schemes to ensure that they made a positive impact on society.
A total of 441 students who completed their programmes in 2021 were awarded various honours with 69 students awarded Bachelors of Technology.