Politics

Nana Addo’s advisors continue to let him down – Ablakwa

Mr. Samuel Okudezto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education, says the Mahama-led administration is already in the process of converting all 10 Polytechnics in Ghana into Technical Universities saying the NPP seems to be lost on current issues as he continues to promise things which are already being implemented.

In a statement released to GhanaWeb.com, Mr. Ablakwa said: “It seems strange though that Nana Addo appears to be the only Ghanaian claiming not to know that the vision and agenda of President John Mahama is to convert all 10 Polytechnics into Technical Universities.”

The NPP Presidential candidate, addressing students at the Cape Coast Polytechnic, on Friday, June 17, 2016, at the end of Day 2 of his tour of the Central region, said, his outfit when voted into power will convert all Polytechnics into Technical Universities.

“We cannot do this policy piecemeal. Either you are doing it for everybody, or you are not doing it at all. We can’t have a situation where some are picked and some are left out of the process. It is not a good idea. Let us make sure that all the polytechnics in our country, in each of the regions, have the same infrastructure and the same level of development. Then we can make the transition for all of them. But pick some and leave some out, then you are disadvantaging and destabilising the ones that you have left out,” Nana Akufo-Addo stressed.

However, Mr Ablakwa says there is enough evidence to prove that the NDC government is approaching this policy with all the required caution and consultations… saying “Nana Addo ought to have known that the globally accepted conversion criteria goes beyond the mere provision of infrastructure. Indeed experts agree that in the conversion process attention must be focused on content as compared to brick and mortar.”

“It is worth noting that Nana Addo’s attack on what he calls a piecemeal approach is an attack on experts and stakeholders in higher education who unanimously recommended to Government to avoid a wholesale conversion in order not to compromise the integrity of the conversion process in line with established international standards”, he revealed.

The Deputy Minister stressed Nana Addo’s current position on the subject is a significant endorsement of President Mahama’s vision, especially when key NPP officials had sought to oppose and ridicule the technical university concept.

He says the Mahama-led administration welcomes the NPP candidate on board saying, “As they say, better late than never. We hope that this Damascus moment will permeate his party rank and file and that the next time he gets the opportunity to discuss the ongoing conversion, he will at least spare some credit for President Mahama.”

Below is Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa’s statement

According to media reports, Nana Akufo Addo is promising to convert all 10 Polytechnics into Technical Universities if he gets to be elected President. Please see:We’ll convert all polytechnics into technical universities – Nana

Before I proceed further, may i acknowledge an interesting development – we are witnessing a major endorsement of President Mahama’s vision by the NPP Flagbearer. Hitherto, key NPP officials had sought to oppose and ridicule the technical university concept. We knew we have always been right on this. We welcome Nana Addo on board. As they say, better late than never. We hope that this Damascus moment will permeate his party rank and file and that the next time he gets the opportunity to discuss the ongoing conversion, he will at least spare some credit for President Mahama.

It seems strange though that Nana Addo appears to be the only Ghanaian claiming not to know that the vision and agenda of President John Mahama is to convert all 10 Polytechnics into Technical Universities. I do hope that we are not witnessing a replay of Nana Addo’s Free SHS saga where a 1992 Constitutional provision was disingenuously presented two decades after as an original idea of Nana Addo.

Unfortunately for Nana Addo, incontrovertible evidence abounds pointing to the fact that President Mahama has consistently indicated that all 10 polytechnics will be converted. Please see: President Mahama converts Polytechnics into Technical Universities Also see the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 State of the Nation Adresses for further confirmation.

It is worth noting that Nana Addo’s attack on what he calls a piecemeal approach is an attack on experts and stakeholders in higher education who unanimously recommended to Government to avoid a wholesale conversion in order not to compromise the integrity of the conversion process in line with established international standards. Kindly see the Dr. Afeti report.

Those who have followed the conversion process also know that the Dr. Afeti Technical Committee recommended an Expert Panel to assess the 10 polytechnics on an objective criteria. This has been strictly adhered to. The Expert Panel chaired by Prof. Adimado continues to re-assess the polytechnics that apply for re-assessment after they have been assisted to meet the 16-point criteria. Our conversion process has thus been guided by technical expertise driven by the long term strategic interest of Ghana and guided by global best practice not simplistic political infrastructure rhetoric.

Very sadly, Nana Addo’s advisers continue to let him down. Nana Addo’s sole strategy from all the media reports is to provide infrastructure to bring all polytechnics at par for a wholesale conversion. Nana Addo ought to have known that the globally accepted conversion criteria goes beyond the mere provision of infrastructure. Critical factors such as a minimum of 4 BTEch Degree Programmes in Science and Technology based disciplines, academic and professional qualification of teaching staff, stock of equipment, strategic partnership with industry and a well crafted legal regime just to highlight a few are all crucial elements that infrastructural provision alone cannot satisfy. Indeed experts agree that in the conversion process attention must be focused on content as compared to brick and mortar. Ghanaians have not forgotten how Nana Addo’s advisers embarrassingly misled him on Ghana’s 2014 WASSCE performance. We have all since observed that that was the last time we heard him speak on WASSCE results.

By all means let’s have a healthy debate on the conversion of our polytechnics into technical universities especially now that the NPP has had a change of heart, however, I very honestly and humbly believe that Ghana deserves a better performance from the man who claims to be the most competent Ghanaian running for President.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (MP)

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