Effective next 2018, the Takoradi Technical University in the Western Region of Ghana would institute a Scholarship Fund for needy but brilliant students in its catchment area.

According to the Vice Chancellor of the TTU, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, the University Scholarship Fund would come about as part of the University’s Cooperate Social Responsibility to give back to society by making Technical University education accessible to brilliant but needy students from the less privileged communities who face financial difficulties in pursuing higher education.

The TTU VC was addressing a gathering at the University’s second Congregation ceremony last Saturday where some 1,913 students made up of 168 bachelor of Technology, 1,657 higher National Diplomas and 88 civil engineering grandaunts received Competency Based Training Certificates from the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations.

Rev. Professor Eshun in retrospect expressed deep appreciation to the interim University Council for the good foundation laid in terms of strategic direction during the transitional period, “I will further like to report that the University is doing well with respect to teaching, learning, research and consultancy”.

The Vice Chancellor said the involvement of industry in the training of students had been strengthened with the introduction of the faculty advisory boards systems; where industry practitioners are involved in decision making at the faculty level.

The University according to him would be launching the research innovation and development fund to promote quality applied research that would spur the socio-economic development of the country and also contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

The TTU he noted had in line with its new mandate as a technical University, reviewed all curricula into Competency Based Training mode in accordance with modern Technology and Industrial requirements as well as Certificate Diploma, BTech and Mtech degrees, but the new programs  are still at the accreditation stage. The VC therefore appealed to the authorities concerned to expedite action on the accreditation process to enable the University roll out such programs especially for the four year Bachelor of Technology programmes which had been scheduled to begin next academic year.

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister for Education, the special guest of honor who was represented by an official at the Education Ministry urged the Technical Universities to iron out all outstanding transitional issues regarding their conversion into Technical Universities to make the process more complete to achieve the intended purposes for the conversion of the country’s Polytechnics into Technical Universities.

Most Polytechnics in the country were converted into Technical Universities through the promulgation of the Technical Universities Act, 2016, ACT 922 to better align the mission of higher educational institutions to industry needs and requirements and also provide a clear pathway for academic and professional progression for students opting for technical and vocational skills based education.

Outstanding issues of concern to the Ministry included the appointment of substantive officers using prescribed processes, a comprehensive staff audit and  the development of programmes in the core mandated areas and  also the identification of flagship programmes that would define the TTU as a Technical University.

Government according to the Education Minister was committed to making Ghana a world class centre for skills development and a leading country in TVET delivery in Africa adding, “a TVET strategic policy document leading to TVET Bill and the creation of a TVET service has been developed and submitted to cabinet for approval.”

Dr. Opoku-Prempeh further indicated that government had plans to equip and position technical universities to play meaningful roles in developing the needed manpower to facilitate the socio-economic development of the country, “the ministry will therefore work through COTVET and GETFUND to ensure that funding is provided for the construction of lecture halls, laboratories, workshops among others”.

Dr. Mrs. Henrietta Abane, the first woman Chairperson of the University Council also mentioned that the governing council would collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the transformation of the institutional set up and governance systems to reflect the attributes envisaged for technical universities.

She further appealed to government to release counterparts funding for the completion of projects and procurement of equipment to enhance teaching and learning.

One major challenge facing the University according to Dr. Abane  was the constant harassment from the electricity company of Ghana over unpaid bills and urged government to honor its promise of paying such bills.

Mrs. Eugenia Gifty Kusi, the Deputy Western Regional Minister said Science, Technology and Engineering continued to be basic requirement for socio-economic growth and hence the need to pay more attention to technical and vocational training.

“I understand that most of the courses at the university are run on competency based training. I strongly belief these hands-on-skills training is the best way to impart the knowledge capable of transforming and making life meaningful to have an impact on the society”.

Grandaunts who excelled in their various fields were awarded by the University and other cooperate institutions including Zenith Bank. They received citations, undisclosed sums and others.

From the TTU’s 2017/2018 enrolment statistics, 37 per cent were in the Business and Social Science related programmes with 63 per cent in the Engineering and Applied Science and Technology related programmes which were clearly in line with the National Council on Technical Education norms.

By : Nana Adjoa Entsuah / Empire 102.7 fm