Prof Gregory Yawson of the School of Engineering at the Takoradi Polytechnic has called for joint curriculum development between industries and polytechnics to ensure that the needs of industry were integrated to the classroom work.
He said recent studies by the Industrial Liaison Office of the School showed great lapses between the needs of industry and the caliber of students produced to serve in these industries.
Prof Yawson said this at the second National Conference on Practical Industrial Training for Industrial Liaison officers for the 10 in the country.
The three-day conference on the theme: Polytechnics and Industry Linkages-Prospects and Challenges was to find solutions to some problems industry and polytechnics were facing in terms of hands down training for students.
Prof Yawson said the gap between the two sectors could be bridged when technical staffs from industry were engaged in part-time teaching to impart practical knowledge whiles officials from the school also visit industries to be abreast with current methodology and equipment.
Professor Daniel Nyarko, the Rector of the Takoradi Polytechnic, said the synergy between academia and industry was to ensure that graduates had skills and knowledge required to effectively contribute to economic growth.
He said whiles National Board for Professional Examination (NABPTEX) Act 492 allowed for industrial attachment by students, funding for this programme was limited.
Prof Nyarko said: “the onus therefore lies on those of us in the polytechnic to rethink and reposition ourselves to deal with this canker and Takoradi polytechnic is prepared to champion this course”.
He said there was therefore the need for closer collaboration between sister polytechnics in overcoming the challenges facing industrial attachments to enable the polytechnics play their role as competency based institutions mandated to train professionals for the various sectors.
Prof Nyarko urged the conference to unearth new and many innovative ways of dealing with the schools and businesses.
Mr. Ron Barnatt, Plant Manager of Takoradi International Company, said industry was gradually becoming technology driven and that students must be exposed to the new technologies to become more functional on the job market.
He said for the polytechnics to move with the needs of industry, research must be cardinal adding that science and technology was essential for the country’s growth and development.
Mr. Joe Mensah, Human Resource manager of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority said the short period of industrial attachment did not allow students to familiarize themselves with operations in industry.
He said students should be placed in their area of study to enable them gain experience. GNA