Education Is The Topmost Priority of NDC Government – Says Mills

President Mills has reiterated his government ’ s commitment to supporting education in the country.

He said education is the bedrock of every economy and that the government will support fully educational programs in order to change the lives of the people.

The president said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Upper West Regional Minister at the 2 nd congregation of the Wa polytechnic.

President John Evans Atta mills said education is the bedrock of every economy whether developed or developing and that that explained why education at all levels remains the topmost priority of the NDC government.

He said polytechnic education plays a very distinct role in national development because of its method of training which emphasises acquisition of hands – on skills and competencies that are essential for industry and community development.

He advised the graduates to use the knowledge they acquired at the polytechnic to help develop the communities they came from.

‘‘ As you leave the polytechnic in to the reality of life , remember that society which has invested so much in you would expect returns from you.

And these returns will be measured not only in the way you assist your community to identify solutions and the role you play in solving their problems but the quality of your solutions and the role you play in the moulding of the lives of the youth in which ever community you find yourselves ’’.

The Rector of the polytechnic Godwin Kwaku Sananu Aflakpui said the polytechnic has been structured in to four schools namely business, engineering , applied science and technology, and applied art , design and general studies of which three are operational except for the applied art , design and general studies.

Dr . Aflakpui hinted that it will be fully operational with the accreditation of at least the industrial art program since the department of liberal and general studies already operates as a service department.

He said the polytechnic has started the process for accreditation to introduce 4 new courses namely Industrial Art , Dispensing Technology , Cosmetology , and Banking and Finance.

He added that four other courses in Electrical / Electronic Engineering , Hotel , Catering and Institutional Management ( HCIM) , Purchasing and Supply and Fashion design and Modelling are on the backburner and would be initiated after mounting the three programs in line for accreditation.

On physical infrastructure , Dr . Aflakpui said they have benefited from the support of the Ghana education trust fund ( GETFUND) without which the polytechnic would still been operating from borrowed buildings.

He said work is progressing steadily on the library complex but with slight modification to enable the polytechnic comply with the provision of Section 6 of the Persons with Disability Act, Act 715 0 f 2006 , to make the library which is a public place accessible and available to use by persons with disability by providing an elevator.

The Wa polytechnic rector admitted that they have challenges with regards to funding of projects especially in the construction of a hall of residence for students which was awarded for construction in 2008 and was expected to be completed in February 2011 but is still not completed .

‘’ Contract for construction of one of residence for students was awarded in January 2008 to be completed in February 2010 at a cost of 5 , 226 , 416 . 14 cedis.

The contract was terminated was terminated as a result of abysmal progress by the contractor. Current estimate to enable us re – award the contract show that we need 13 million cedis to complete the construction ’’

He added ‘’the implication is that even if we stop all activities, and using the allocation for 2010 of 1 , 381 , 000 cedis benchmark , with all things been equal , we need 10 years allocation in two years to complete the hall of residence from where the first contractor left ’’

Dr . Aflakpui said due the challenges in funding projects at the polytechnic , the contractors who are constructing ten staff accommodation units awarded in October in 2008 have sent a joint petition to the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited( AESL ) Consultant to revise the original contract sum of 2 , 983 , 160 . 24 upwards.

In all 440 students were conferred the higher national diploma ( HND ) , 180 of which completed their programs in 2009 and the remaining 260 completed in 2010.

Story by Rafiq Salam/Joy News /Wa

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