• Chairman of Koforidua Technical University Governing Council, Prof. Samuel Nana Obeng Apori,
  • Members of the University Council of KTU,
  • Special Guest of Honour, Executive Secretary of NAB, Dr. Kingsley Nyarko,
  • Hon. Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour,
  • New Juaben South Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasi
  • Executive Secretaries and Director– NCTE, NABPTEX and COTVET,
  • Colleague Vice-Chancellors and Rectors of sister Universities and Polytechnics,
  • Nana Baffour Nyantakyi Tutu Boateng,  Kontihene, New Juaben Traditional Area
  • Nana Yaa Daani III, Queenmother, New Juaben Traditional Area,
  • Nana Pimpong II, Adwesohene,
  • Nananom,
  • Heads of Institutions and Government Departments
  • Members of Convocation in Loco Parentis
  • SRC Executives
  • Graduands and Members of the Alumni Association
  • Members of the Press
  • Parents, Guardians
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

Permit me to associate myself with my Council Chairman, in welcoming you to this ceremony of the 14th Congregation of Koforidua Technical University. I am highly delighted to have you all here to participate in this event. Your kindness in honouring our invitation is highly appreciated.

Today’s ceremony is in celebration of our freshest batch of graduates. And on such occasions also, I am statutorily obliged to give a report on the state of the University and the activities of its students and staff since the last Congregation on the 30th September 2017. The detailed report can be found in the Brochure which has been given out and which I hope you read sometime at your leisure. A few highlights of the report should suffice here.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

During the immediate past academic year, we worked hard to increase student enrolment. Our total student population for the year under review was Seven Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Seven (7747). This figure was made up of Four Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty One (4451) males and Three Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Six (3296) females.

Prof. Chair,

The University continues to improve on the ratio of student enrolment on science and technology programmes.

In the year under review, enrolment on science and technology programmes moved from Two Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Seven (2467) in 2016/2017 academic year to Three Thousand Three Hundred and Eleven (3311) in the 2017/2018 academic year.

This constitutes Thirty Four (34) per cent of increment of Science and Technology student enrolment. We are happy our collaborations with the Technical Institutes and the Senior High Schools, especially in the Eastern Region, are yielding fruits.

 Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

The total workforce of Koforidua Technical University is 616. Of this, 235 are teaching staff and 381 are non-teaching staff. There are 297 Senior Members, 119 Senior Staff and 200 Junior Staff.

In the course of the year, some of our staff members resumed from study leave to enrich our human resource base. The University is embarking on vigorous staff development training programmes to enhance the capacity of its staff to effectively deliver on its Technical University mandate. In line with this, a number of staff members were sponsored to pursue their PhDs and professional studies.

Currently, 33 of our staff members have PhDs, 55 are at various stages of their PhD programmes and 15 are pursuing purely professional programmes.

The University can currently boast of 51 Senior Lecturers, and 2 Associate Professors.

Prof. Chair,

We continue to add to our portfolio of programmes to meet the needs of industry. During the past year, we added 3 Bachelor of Technology programmes to our portfolio. Not only do we now have 13 Bachelor of Technology and 21 Higher National Diploma programmes, but also we have a number of non-tertiary professional, technical and vocational programmes.

Additionally, we have designed 37 curricula for 4-year Bachelors’ degree programmes as alternatives to the current HND and top-up B.Tech programmes.

Prof. Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In response to the needs of industry, and in accordance with our mandate, about 75% of our study programmes are in science and technology-based disciplines. We wish to appeal to the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board to help the newly established Technical Universities reach their full potentials in line with the letter and spirit of the establishing law. It is our greatest desire that we will do less HND/B.Tech top-ups and do more direct 4-year B.Tech programmes. Ghanaian students and parents want to see this progress and so it is our plea that these statutory bodies will expedite action in this regard.

 Prof. Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In spite of the seeming lack of interest in TVET education in Ghana today, we in KTU remain proud of our TVET mandate. Over the last few years, we have worked hard enough to be among the very best of polytechnics to be established as technical universities.

But we have not forgotten our duty towards our immediate community. Their needs remain our priority even as we pursue the competitive global perspective. We recognize the significance of the informal private sector to the national economy. This is why the doors of this University remain open to them.

Through the short courses we run for these significant players in the informal sector, we seek to enhance the capacity of artisans, tradesmen, petty traders, and phlebotomists to promote economic empowerment and improved livelihoods. In the process we also learn from their practical experiences.

Our Automotive Service Workshop, for instance, prides itself as a training ground for roadside mechanics who patronize the workshop when they have difficulties fixing electronic and electrical problems. The Toyota Franchise Automotive Service Workshop is open to the public. All KTU vehicles, vehicles from both public and private institutions are regular customers to the workshop. The department through the proceeds of the workshop has established a driving school certified by DVLA and it is also open to the public.

 Prof. Chair,

We have been working hard in Koforidua Technical University to promote gender equity and equality in Science and Technology education by encouraging more female faculty and student enrolment. Equal opportunity for men and women is key to sustainable development of any nation.

Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal 5, Our Gender Office in collaboration with Women in Technology Education Development (WITED) has undertaken several activities to dramatically improve female enrolment in the male-dominated disciplines. These include mentoring, counselling and outreach.

Last year, scholarships were offered to nine (9) female students in science and technology disciplines. We are grateful to Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the sponsorship. Once again, the University will offer scholarships to ten (10) brilliant female students in the male-dominated science and technology disciplines this academic year. Our aim is to attain gender parity within the shortest possible time.

In February this year, Koforidua Technical University, supported by the Commonwealth of Learning, took the bold decision and conducted a gender scorecard audit. The purpose of the gender scorecard audit was to mainstream gender in the University.

KTU with the support of the Commonwealth of Learning also organized a 5-day Women in TVET Leadership Workshop to build leadership capacity amongst senior women leaders in all Technical Universities/Polytechnics in Ghana.

Prof. Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In accordance with our mandate as specified in Section 3 (1) (d) of the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922), we have embarked on a number of collaborations with industry and other institutions. And we have taken some very significant steps aimed at getting industry more and more involved in our curriculum design and education delivery.

We are grateful to our faculty advisory boards, which include captains of industry, for their immerse contribution to the development of our faculties. We have intensified industrial attachment for staff and students. We are maintaining a very healthy relationship with workplaces across the country and we have signed new partnership agreements with businesses and institutions home and abroad. We are grateful to the executives of Association of Ghana Industry, Eastern and Volta for being helpful in linking us to the industries.

Prof. Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are very happy to announce to you that in the past few weeks, an ultra-modern State-of-the-Art Electromechanical Laboratory was commissioned on campus by the Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh. This new laboratory consists of technical learning systems, hands-on simulators and highly interactive multimedia e-Learning system that will equip students practically in the areas of Electrical/Electronic, Energy, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.

This Laboratory will equip students with the prerequisite skills required to acquire global workforce skills ranging from basic technical skills to advanced technology troubleshooting for both degree and certification preparation in engineering.

This ultra-modern Electromechanical Laboratory will greatly support the commencement of our flagship programme, Mechatronics Engineering. The introduction of Mechatronics Engineering programme will enable us to produce students who can design, develop and implement intelligent engineered products and processes not only to solve challenging technological problems but also to meet specific human needs by effectively using a variety of innovation methods for the development of our nation Ghana.

We really want to commend our charismatic Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, for his instrumental role in seeing to the completion of the Electromechanical Laboratory.

We are very grateful to the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Education and the GETFund for their support in building the super structure of these new blocks.  While these developments bring us some relief, our infrastructure needs remain very high. We are still in dire need of a library complex, lecture halls, some more laboratories and an auditorium. Staff accommodation on campus also remains a big challenge.

I am by this medium appealing to the Ministry of Education and the GETFund to significantly increase our allocation to enable us fund some of our infrastructural projects. I am also challenging corporate Ghana to consider partnering us to undertake some of the projects for our mutual benefit and also to enable us expand our facilities; admit more students; and prepare adequately for the free Senior High School graduates.

Prof. Chair,

We, in Koforidua Technical University, have elected to focus on the soft and employable skills, innovation and entrepreneurial attitude as the trademarks of our University. To this end, we have made these essential indices in our education delivery. Our Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) has a business incubator nurturing various businesses. This centre continues to provide practical entrepreneurship training for our students and the public.

The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) has a vibrant collaboration with the Ministry of Business Development to support the government’s agenda of One-District-One-Factory and boosting up of job creation in the country. It is significant to note that the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) has selected our CEID as a main regional hub for training entrepreneurs in the Eastern Region. More than 300 entrepreneurs have so far been trained and their businesses nurtured leading to job creation and economic empowerment of the citizenry.

Prof. Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy to inform you that, the 20th Anniversary of Koforidua Technical University was launched successfully on 11th May 2018. Celebrating our 20th anniversary is a significant milestone in the history and development of Koforidua Technical University. A public lecture series was also launched and named after our first Council Chairperson and first Principal of the then Polytechnic: Prof. (Mrs.) Aba Bentil Andam and the late Dr. Henry Appiah respectively: Appiah-Bentil Andam lectures.

We are grateful to Prof. William Otoo Ellis, the Former Vice-Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Dr. Daniel McKorley, Group Chairman, McDan Group of Companies for doing us the honour of delivering the addresses at the Lecture Series.

Prof. Chair,

The celebration of our 20th Anniversary provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our rich past, and look forward to an exciting future as we continue to develop as one of the world’s greatest Technical Universities.

Today, the greatness of Koforidua Technical University is not in doubt. I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all stakeholders, both past and current Chairpersons and members of the Governing Council, hardworking staff and students, and to all those who have contributed in diverse ways to the achievement of Koforidua Technical University in the past 20 years.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

We can also boast of great and supportive alumni making us proud in all the various sectors of the economy: accomplished engineers, lecturers, marketers, accountants, lawyers, bankers, procurement officers, hoteliers, and politicians etc. who are worthy ambassadors of the University.

Prof. Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, for our celebration, I present to you the latest batch of graduads of this University, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven (1797) men and women. They came from different parts of this country and beyond. They studied different disciplines in various faculties, and they enrolled on different sessions: Morning, Evening and Weekend. They came with one purpose: to get good education. And good education we gave them. Because they survived the crucible of this institution, I have no doubt about their readiness to face the challenges of a constantly changing world.

Prof. Chair,

Before I take my seat I wish to directly address our latest batch of Graduands,

Dear GRADUANDS

You have distinguished yourselves creditably enough to earn enviable places among the proud alumni of this noble institution. By this, you have not only brought honour upon your selves, your parents and relations but also you have justified the heavy investment made in you by the Ghanaian tax payer. Congratulations!

While you pursue a career in your chosen field, I encourage you to enrol on our top-up and postgraduate programmes as soon as possible. Certainly, none of you can afford to join the endless queue of unemployed graduates: your education here has provided you with alternatives.

You have been given enough training to start a business of your own.

Graduands, be employers and not job seekers.

Take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Government.

Take advantage of the little space you have in your various family houses.

Be innovative and be bold. There is no harm in trying.

Do not be afraid of the world. Have dreams and ambitions and step out and make it.

As it is stated in the Good Old Book in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”

And should you go in search of jobs, always remember that no matter what job your certificates may earn you, only the right attitude can keep you there long enough to excel.

Do not rush or use shortcut in becoming successful. And do not be envious of your colleagues that seemed to be ahead of you.

They have their own time and clock and so do you. Be patient.  Don’t let anyone rush you with their timelines.

Because as Einstein said, “not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that’s counted truly counts,” I want you to be able to create meaningful, purposeful fulfilling lives for yourselves and learn how to use that to make an impact and a difference in the lives of others. That will be true success. Go out there innovate and prosper, make KTU proud.

May the God Almighty be gracious unto you all and open great doors for you.

Prof Chair, Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to conclude my address by paying glowing tribute to hardworking staff of the University. It has been two (2) years now since we attained a University status.  It took us committed staff and a determined leadership to attain this height. It is a result of many years of dedicated service, loyalty and sacrifice on the part of many, including some who are no more. Hopefully, the transitional process will be over soon and we will enjoy a better condition of service..

I am very grateful to the Governing Council and Academic Board for your immense support.

Professor Chair, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once again, I am grateful for the presence of all our distinguished guests, particularly, Regional Minister, Our Guest Speaker the Executive Secretary of NAB Dr. Kingsley Nyarko, Members of the Governing Council, Nananom and my colleague Heads of Technical Universities and Polytechnics and members of the University community.

May the Good Lord safely guide your return journey, and may He constantly remind us of the need to let our efforts count in changing the destiny of this country.

God bless us all.

Thank you.

 PROFESSOR (MRS.) SMILE GAVUA DZISI

VICE-CHANCELLOR, KOFORIDUA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY