By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.
PROF. Thomas Kwadwo Djang-Fordjour, 56, a former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Education, Winneba, Asante Mampong campus, has been inducted into office as the new Rector of the Sunyani Polytechnic.
The new Rector who is a Prof. in Veterinary Medicine took over from Prof. Kwesi Nsiah Gyaabah, who retired after serving for 12 years.
Prof. Djang-Fordjour who has a lot of experience in the field of tertiary education, also served as Head of Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Sokoto in Nigeria, between 1988 and 1992, and acting Head of Department at the Department of Animal Science at the University of Development Studies (UDS), Tamale from 1993 to 2005.
The acting Chairman of the Sunyani Polytechnic Governing Council, Mr Stephen Kofi Mensah, inducted Prof. Djang-Fordjour into office at a well-attended investiture ceremony at the Polytechnic auditorium in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital.
Among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony were the Chairman of the Conference of Polytechnics Rectors, Dr Y.S. Paligah, the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the Omanhene of Sunyani Traditional Area, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawirie II and Omanhene of Berekum Traditional Area, Daasebre Amankona Diawuo II.
Also present were some rectors of the sister polytechnics, some members of the various Polytechnics Governing Councils and academic staff from the University of Education, Winneba, Asante Mampong campus.
Addressing the investiture ceremony, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, stressed the importance of polytechnic education to national development, saying it produces highly technical and skilled level manpower to run the economy.
He gave the assurance that the government would continue to provide the necessary support for polytechnic education, especially in the areas of the provision of infrastructure to facilitate teaching and learning as well as accommodation for teachers and students.
Mr Opoku reiterated the call on tertiary institutions, including the polytechnics, to tailor their training policies to the needs of the oil and its related industries, saying it is unacceptable for the country to continue to import expertise when a lot of the country’s youth remained unemployed.
Prof. Djang-Fordjour, in his address, said his vision for the Sunyani Polytechnic was to make it a prominent institution recognised nationally and worldwide for Polytechnic Education in technical, vocational, commerce, finance and management studies.
He said the road map to achieving this goal includes effective management of existing resources as outlined in the government’s White Paper on Education Reform Review, 2007 (Polytechnic).
Prof. Djang-Fordjour gave the assurance that he would embark upon an open administration that would allow the committee system to operate, respect the views of staff, students and other stakeholders, and also open all communication lines to help check rumour mongering, fear and panic.
He stated that he and his management team would work to secure the accreditation for the Bachelors of Technology in Hospitality and Tourism Management, General Agriculture, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Higher National Diploma (HND) in Wood, Bricks and Tiles Technologies and Computer Science Engineering as soon as possible.
Prof. Djang-Fordjour asked for the co-operation of the Council, the Academic Board, Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana and all unions on the polytechnic’s campus so that together they could build an enviable polytechnic in the country.
The new rector who is a native of Kutire No. 1 in the Berekum Municipality is married to Mrs. Diana Djang-Fordjour and has four children.