Administration of industrial attachment programme in Ghanaian Polytechnics: a case study of art-related disciplines in Tamale Polytechnic

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Belley (2002) recommended that the Polytechnics in Ghana were established by P.N.D.C. Law 321 (1992) with the following aims and objectives:- a) Provide tertiary education through full-time courses in the field of manufacturing, commerce, science and technology, applied science and arts and such ones as may be determined by the authority. b) Encourage studies in technical subjects at tertiary level. c) Provide opportunity for development, practical research and publication of research findings. d) Provide specific skills or vocations beyond secondary level for those who are unable to enter the universities. Polytechnic education is expected to be practical oriented, up to date in technology and forward looking in approach. Furthermore, it is expected to emphasize close contact with business, industry and services especially at the regional level. To achieve the mission of the Polytechnic successfully, all the programmes are based on the nation’s education policy, which is centered around the idea of ‘Education for national development’. Industrial attachment is recognized world-wild as an indispensable component of Polytechnic education. It offers students the opportunity to acquire work-oriented skills, general knowledge, attitudes or behaviour necessary for effective work performance. The students are expected to develop their potentials to the fullest in order to contribute meaningfully to nation building. When the industrial attachment programme started at Tamale Polytechnic in 1994, there were few students and its administration and organization was not a problem. However, with the rapid increase in student enrolment, many problems started to arise. One of the major problems was the placement of students in industrial organizations. A general feeling is that, students of the Art-related disciplines are not given the needed recognition and attention as their Engineering and Business counterparts. Art is taken for granted and erroneously relegated to the background. A preliminary survey showed that the organization of industrial attachment for the art-related disciplines has not been effective. This study, therefore, sought to investigate the strengths and weaknesses within the administration of the programme. The researcher used the descriptive method to collect data. The data was analyzed, evaluated and conclusions were made. The research tool used was the questionnaire. The population included students, tutors, administrators, employers and industrial liaison officers. The major findings of the study include the following: 1) Inadequate funding for the industrial attachment programme at Tamale Polytechnic 2) Ineffective and inefficient administration and organization of the industrial attachment programme. 3) Inadequate demonstration of skills on the part of students due to inadequate practical training on campus and lack of well-organized attachment to industries. 4) Even when an industrial attachment programme is organized for students, there is lack of proper supervision by staff. This is due to poor remuneration, which eventually hinders effective assessment and evaluation of students’ competency. 5) The seemingly negative attitude toward art in general by administrators affected effective organization. The thesis has identified the strengths and weaknesses of the industrial attachment programme for the art-related disciplines. The writer is convinced that, effective and efficient administration will contribute to the competency in skill training of students. It will influence to a great extent the results to be achieved, direction to follow and priorities to be recognized. The researcher made some sound recommendations in the thesis to help improve the organization and administration of the industrial attachment in the art-related disciplines. It is the hope of the researcher that this thesis will serve as a resource material for the improvement of curriculum planning in Ghanaian Polytechnics, especially for Tamale Polytechnic.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Master of Arts, 2002