Convocation Address 2018

 Prof.  Emmanuel Kojo Sakyi, on September 13, 2018, addressed Convocation for the last time as the Interim Vice Chancellor of Ho Technical University at the G.M. Afeti Auditorium. He gave an account of his 4-year leadership of the institution as Rector and subsequently as an Interim Vice Chancellor of the University. Professor Sakyi said that,it was by the dint of hard work that his administration surmounted some of the challenges it was confronted with. He categorized his initiatives and achievements under five broad areas namely, academic Initiatives; Administrative and Human Resource Initiatives; Financial Issues; Infrastructure and Physical Development; and International Collaborations and Partnerships.

On Academic Initiatives

The restructuring of Faculties and Departments and the establishment of some new departments were done to enhance teaching and learning and to promote research in order to advance Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the University. Some of these new Schools and Faculties are:

School of Graduate Studies; HTU Business School; Faculty of Built and Natural Environment; Faculty of Applied Social Sciences; Department of Food Science & Technology; Department of  Applied Modern Languages & Communication; Department of Multidisciplinary Studies; Department of Civil Engineering; and Department of Architecture & Estates Development.

Others are:

Department of Environmental & Renewable Energy Engineering; Department of Carpentry & Wood Processing Technology; Department of Design, Welding & Fabrication  Engineering; Department of Organization & Human Resource Management; Centre for Continuing & Distance Education; and Technical & Vocational Education and Research Centre (TVERC).

The TVERC Centre under the auspices of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor coordinated and won several projects being funded by the Skills Development Fund (SDF).

Prof. Sakyi also mentioned that the University had received accreditation to run and manage the Ghana TVET Voucher Project (GTVP) for five (5) trade areas namely Beauty Culture/Cosmetology, Consumer Electronics, Automotive, Fabrication and Welding, and Garment/Tailoring/Dressmaking. Under the project, HTU received One Hundred and Sixty (160) Master Craft Persons (MCPs) to be trained for National Proficiency 1 (NP1). 

Other salient academic achievements recorded during his tenure include: 

  • Commencement of Ho Technical University (HTU) - Central University of Technology(CUT),  Doctoral Study Programme.
  • Introduction of Master of Technology Programmes in affiliation with KNUST.
  • Introduction of Cohort System of Admission.
  • Re-introduction of Weekend Programmes.
  • Introduction of National Sanitation, Food Hygiene and Safety Conference.
  • Publication of Conference Proceedings of the 1st and 2nd National Sanitation, Food Hygiene and Safety Conferences.
  • Establishment of International Journal for the University christened the African Journal of Technical Education and Management (AJTEM). 
  • Acquisition and adoption of Ho Poly Basic School.
  • Development of 4 year direct bachelor degree programmes for approval and accreditation by NCTE and NAB respectively.
  • Introduction of Apprenticeship Training Programme with the third batch of 35 students enrolled in various trade areas namely; Garment/Dressmaking, Electricals, Brick Laying/Masonry, Plumbing and Graphic Design.
  • Introduction of English Proficiency Programme for students from francophone Countries. 
  • Introduction of French Proficiency Programme for students and staff of Ho Technical University and interested persons outside the University etc.

Administrative and Human Resource Initiatives

The following were the administrative and Human Resource Initiatives undertaken by the Prof. Sakyi led administration.

  • Enactment of  Ho Technical University Statutes in accordance with the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act, 922) on Tuesday, 7th August, 2018, by the Governing Council of Ho Technical University. 
  • Inauguration of Ho Technical University Appeals Board
  • The University Appeals Board on Monday, 6th August, 2018 
  • Development of new Strategic Plan of the University for the period 2017-2022  
  • Staff Training and Development: As part of efforts to improve staff and institutional effectiveness. Some staff have been granted study leave and various forms of sponsorship to pursue further studies. 54 staff are currently pursuing PhD programmes, 14 staff are pursuing MPhil/Msc. programmes, and 10 staff are pursuing BA/BSc/HND programmes.

 Other significant administrative achievements among others are: 

  • Smooth management of the transition period after conversion of the Institution to Technical University. 
  • Re-alignment of administrative structure of the institution. 
  • Departmental re-alignment of teaching staff
  • Inauguration of HTU Appeals Board.
  • Decoupling of business units from academic departments.
  • Establishment of staff excellence award.
  • Establishment of scholarship fund for students of the university.
  • Get-Together and Awards Ceremony for Retired Staff of the Institution.
  • Scholarships and Sponsorship support for further studies in areas of Bachelor, Master and PhD Studies for a total of 78 staff of the University.
  • Inauguration of VP. F.M.  Radio Management Board. 
  • Celebration of 50th Anniversary of the University.

Financial Issues

The Outgoing Interim Vice Chancellor reiterated that a major achievement of his administration was the Decentralisation of Petty Cash System, which is a departure from the highly centralised system under which only the Finance Directorate had impress. 

Infrastructure and Physical Development

“As part of preparations for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the University, renovation works were carried out on university edifices and structures on campus. However, prior to preparations for the 50th Anniversary, the University Guest House, Halls of residence, Afadzato Block, some staff Bungalows and some other old structures on campus had been renovated for use by staff and students.” –Noted Prof. Sakyi.

Other notable infrastructural and physical development projects are:

  • Completion of processes on registration and documentation of a 81.3 acre land at Adaklu Kodzobi for the University.
  • Creation of access road to the University land at Adaklu Kodzobi.
  • Establishment of 25 acre mango plantation at Adaklu Kodzobi.
  • Procurement of 500KVA power generating plant.
  • Refurbishment of University Clinic.
  • Refurbishment and expansion of the Executive Restaurant.
  • Creation of new conference rooms at Afadzato Block.
  • Covering of gutters and creation of pedestrian walkways within the institution.
  • Establishment of Faculty of Engineering-Amatrol Laboratory.
  • Drilling of Mechanized Boreholes at Adaklu Hall, Acolatse Hall and Afadzato Block.

International Collaboration and Partnership

“As part of our collaboration with the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Germany, both Universities developed a joint proposal which has been approved by German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)/ DAAD for staff capacity building and staff/student exchange programmes for a period of four years. Thus, an HTU delegation consisting of teaching and administrative staff as well as students would visit the Rhine- Waal University of Applied Sciences, Germany in due course under the exchange programme in the mutual interests of both Universities.”-Said Prof. Sakyi. 

The University has a similar arrangement with the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, South Africa under which twenty-three (23) staff of our University have commenced their doctoral studies. 

The University currently has collaboration and partnership arrangements with 22 Universities across the world.

Challenges

Some of the challenges enumerated by the outgoing Interim Vice Chancellor include inadequate funding (No Government of Ghana subvention); insufficient IGF to support developmental projects, uncompleted Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) projects, staffing problems due to embargo on recruitment of new staff, huge overhead cost (e.g. electricity and water bills) and dwindling number of student enrolment especially female students in the areas of Engineering.

Conclusion 

In his concluding remarks, Prof. Emmanuel Kojo Sakyi urged all staff to put their hands to the wheel towards building a strong University culture. 

 

 

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