Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education, on Monday reiterated government’s commitment in promoting tertiary education as a means of equipping the citizens with tools vital for national development.
He said adequate funding of higher education has been one of the challenges for successive administrations of the country.
The Minister said as part of efforts in addressing the challenge, the government had committed itself to the establishment of a research fund for the sole purpose of funding relevant and sector-specific research work in Institutions of higher learning.
Dr Prempeh, inaugurating a 19-member Governing Council of the Tamale Technical University in Accra said the research fund was in addition to the Book and Research Allowance.
“We are hopeful that sooner than later the much talked about research fund will begin to offer an appropriate funding regime for research work in our institutions of higher learning.
“We place huge emphasis on the continuous linkage between academia and industry and the world of work to ensure curriculum relevance, thereby reducing graduate unemployment,” he added.
The 19-member Governing Council is chaired by Dr Al-Hassan Emil Abdulai, a Government Nominee, is responsible for the governance of the university by enhancing and facilitating its vision andmission.
In line with the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922), the governing Council are expected to ensure the attainment of the aims of the Technical University; determine its strategic direction; be responsible for the management and administration of finances and properties of Technical University and determine the allocation and proper use of funds.
They are to promote income-generating activities as part of the programmes of the Technical University; promote applied research including provision of technology innovations and solutions to firms and businesses as part of the outreach; foster linkages and collaboration with relevant national and international industries and institutions in furtherance of the mission of the University.
They will also ensure the conservation and augmentation of resources of the Technical University, specifically in relation to matters affecting income or expenditure; be responsible for discipline in the University; ensure the creation of an environment of equal opportunities for members of the Technical University without regard to ethnicity, sex, race, religious belief or political affiliation.
Dr Prempeh also re-emphasised government’s readiness to support tertiary-industry collaborative programmes to increase opportunities for practical training and internship; promoting curriculum development to meet the skills and human resource demands of industry; creating opportunities for work and study; and making training in entrepreneurship a cardinal component of the school system.
He noted that the strategic goals for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training(TVET) Strategy was to make Ghana a world centre for skills development, a leading country in TVET delivery, and transform the country’s labour force to enhance employability and productivity.
The Minister said the role of the Technical Universities in realizing that could not be overemphasized and urged Tamale Technical University to stick to its core mandate, which is to provide technical and vocational training to the world of work.
He announced that the Ministry was reviewing the legal, institutional and regulatory framework of its agencies to ensure that their roles are properly outlined to provide a clearer understanding of their functions and strengthen their mandate to perform efficiently.
He, therefore, urged them to familarise themselves with the bills and laws, as well as the many reform documents of the Ministry, including the education Strategic Plan 2018-2030, which among other things has the goal of revising the current tertiary enrolment of STEM versus Humanities ratio of 30:70, within the next 12 years.
Dr Abdulai, on behalf of the Council, thanked the Government and the Education Ministry for the honour given them to serve their country and pledged their preparedness to work diligently to justify the confidence reposed in them.
“We are mindful of the importance of Education and we pledged to help guide the mandates and stay within our means to achieve the goals for the country,” he said.