From William N-lanjerborr Jalulah, Sumbrungu
IN ITS attempts to help address the ever increasing demand for Procurement and Logistics Professionals whose relevance has increased following the promulgation of the Public Procurement Act 2003, the Bolgatanga Polytechnic has introduced National Higher Diploma (HND) in Procurement and Logistics Management, the first of its kind in all the Polytechnics in Ghana.
The Acting Rector of the Polytechnic, Mr. John Bosco Azigwe, who disclosed this on Saturday during the 8th matriculation ceremony of the institution indicated that Public Procurement accounts for between 50% and 70% of total government expenditure, representing 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Describing the introduction of the new programme as very timely, the acting Rector appealed to the media to help the Polytechnic to market it so as to attract more prospective students to apply for it.
According to Mr. Azigwe, with the express permission of the Governing Council of the Polytechnic, the institution is collaborating with the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso and some Universities in that country for exchange programmes for staff and students.
He explained that students from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger will enroll for proficiency in English Language. They may be admitted after they have gained proficiency in the Queen’s language to continue with the HND programmes.
Last Saturday’s matriculation ceremony saw 503 fresh students gaining entry into the institution. The fresh students were made up of 155 females and 348 males. They were admitted into School of Applied Art and Science, School of Engineering and School of Business.
Mr. Azigwe further disclosed that this year, enrolment in the sciences and engineering, which is the focus of the Polytechnic education, recorded 154 student out of a total enrolment of 503, representing 30%.
He observed that this is not peculiar to his institution and described it as a national trend, which should be addressed if the country is to produce the requisite human capital for development. As such, he called for an urgent need for an integrated strategy and approach to reverse the trend.
The Acting Rector told the students that management was working very hard to provide them with academic facilities for effective teaching and learning, as it has awarded contract for the supply of 50 computers and other teaching aids to improve on the computer laboratory.
He said, an order has been placed for an additional 400 chairs and desks for use in the lecture theaters, while plans are far advanced to furnish the library complex with modern furniture and equipment. These computers and chairs are to be distributed between the two campuses of the Polytechnic, Bolgatanga and Sumbrungu campuses respectively.
Mr. Azigwe told the students that the general principle guiding academic work in the Polytechnic is discipline and quality assurance, which must always be their hallmark. To this end, he cautioned that there are sanctions for indiscipline especially exams malpractice and advised them to take their studies seriously.
Mr. Azigwe took over from the then Rector, Prof. Paul B. Tanzubil when his four-year mandate ended in September this year and was not renewed by the Governing Council of the Polytechnic.
The first Principal of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic, now a retired educationist, Mr. Robert Ajene, said the Polytechnics were established to produce middle level manpower and urged Polytechnic students all over the country to stop making comparisons about whether HND was equivalent to the University Degree.
He said the attachment of a degree should not be a border to polytechnic students or products but what they can do to serve Ghana in the field of middle income level manpower. Mr. Ajene said the polytechnic products were more important at this period of what he termed as “national reconstruction”.
The matriculants were led by their Deans to take matriculation Oath to be of good behaviour during their stay in the institution. The Bolgatanga Polytechnic was established in 1999 and started operations in 2001, with the mandate to deliver quality HND products that are career-focused and responsive to the needs and demands of the society, employers and professional bodies.