Bolgatanga Technical University aims to become preferred centre for TVET education

The Bolgatanga Technical University (BTU) is repositioning itself to become globally preferred centre for technical vocational training education and a relevant contributor to the socioeconomic growth of Ghana and beyond. To this end, the University has introduced 17 more programmes at various levels including five Master of Science (MSc) programmes in Agriculture, its niche area, to empower students to find practical solutions to challenges of society, Professor Samuel Erasmus Alnaa, Vice Chancellor of the University, has said. The programmes are MSc Crop Science, MSc Animal Science, MSc Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, MSc Postharvest Engineering, MSc Agriculture Farm Power and Machinery Engineering and MSc Procurement and Logistics Management. The others are Bachelor of Science (BSc) Medical Laboratory Science, BTech Data Communication and Networking, BSc Applied Statistics and Computing, BSc Electrical and Electronics Engineering and HND Welding and Fabrication. The rest are BSc Food Processing Te chnology, BTech Mechanical Engineering, BSc Tourism Management, BSc Computerised Accounting, BSc Marketing and Communication Studies and BSc Management Studies. The Vice Chancellor made this known at the 12th congregation of the University held at Sumbrungu, the University's main campus, where 628 graduands, comprising 328 males and 300 females, were awarded various honours. The Vice Chancellor noted that the University was considering extending Competency based training at all levels which had sponsorship from the GIZ and World Bank and urged the public to take advantage of the varied programmes to develop their competencies for job creation and poverty reduction. 'We are rekindling our collaboration with the University of Ouagadougou. The collaboration was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will see the exchange of staff and students from both universities. 'We are also collaborating with Kosmos Innovation Centre, the Corporate Social Responsibility wing of Kosmos Energy, for training of young gra duates in agribusiness. This programme is aimed at creating, training and empowering 'Agripreneurs' to innovate value addition in the agriculture value chain and create jobs. The programme is expected to run for three years and it is worth US$100,000.00 annually,' he said. Professor Alnaa appealed to the government to grant financial clearance for the University to recruit lecturers, adding 'there is no commensurate increase in the teaching staff to train the students who get enrolled on the wide range of programmes. 'We have to contend with the existing staff and part-time lecturers, who currently are overloaded with so many courses, to teach and this is very strenuous and negatively affecting the instructional delivery as well as assessment of students.' The Vice Chancellor noted that the University was further confronted with infrastructure deficit and while management was doing everything possible to improvise decent places for students to have lectures, it behoves government to fast-track the request of the University for Lecture Halls which had been on the drawing board since 2017. Professor Francis Abantanga, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, said despite the challenges, the University since its humble beginning in 1999, had grown in the technology-based programmes which were impacting positively on the growth of the country and beyond. Professor Abantanga advised the staff to undertake researches that aimed at mobilizing revenue for the University and the country as a whole, adding 'research is key in the development of all economies and also plays key role in your progress as staff.' Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Outgoing Upper East Regional Minister, said despite the many challenges, the University had contributed significantly to the growth of the economy by producing solution-oriented students and urged all stakeholders to play key roles in consolidating the gains of the University. Source: Ghana News Agency