The Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) after an Auditor’s General report indicated the majority of programmes run by various universities are unaccredited says students’ offering such courses interest will be protected.
The report disclosed that out of 360 programmes run by the Kwame Nkrumah Univesity of Science and Technology, only 61 were accredited, while 374 of the programmes offered by the University of Ghana were unaccredited.
The revelation of the Auditor-General report has since triggered concerns about the validity of the certificates issued by some universities including the above-mentioned two institutions to those who participate in such programmes.
However, the Director-General of the GTEC, Professor Mohammed Salifu, has allayed such fears, saying: “We want to reassure the students that their interests will be at the centre of the resolution of the problem and shall be protected.”
“We are fully aware that the students are the likely innocent and unfortunate victims and so the commission will make sure that their interests are protected,” Prof Salifu told Daily Graphic’s Severious Kale-Dery in an interview.
He said the issues were “legacy issues” that predated the establishment of GTEC, and added that the commission had been working with the universities for a speedy resolution, even before the release of the Auditor-General’s Report.
“As a result, many of the programmes flagged as being without active accreditation in the report have either now been fully reaccredited or are at advanced stages of consideration by Ghana Tertiary Education Commission,” Prof Salifu said.
Prof. Salifu explained that every programme offered by a university at first accreditation was for a period of three years and subsequently for a five-year duration for re-accreditation. Therefore, all programmes had to go through reaccreditation every five years.
“So the onus is on the university to trigger the process by completing the appropriate self-assessment questionnaire freely available on the GTEC website,” Professor Mohammed Salifu told the Daily Graphic newspaper.
The Director-General expressed regret that in spite of the above provisions, many of the programmes referred to by the Auditor-General’s Report had their accreditation by the erstwhile National Accreditation Board lapsing as far back as 2013, without any action being taken by the universities in accordance with the conditions of accreditation and the law.
He reminded managers of all universities about the severe sanctions regime prescribed under the new Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 (Act 1023), which included steep fines or imprisonment or both for “advertising; causing to be advertised and/or running an institution or programme without a valid accreditation”.
“For now, our priority is working proactively with the universities to rectify the current situation, but the universities need to be on notice, as they were informed during engagements with GTEC, long before the release of the Auditor-General’s report, that some sanctions would have to follow after the resolution.
It is important that measures taken as part of the process for resolving this situation are deterrent enough to avoid any future recurrence,” he said.
He hinted that at a meeting held last Friday, at the instance of the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, between council chairpersons and vice-chancellors of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), KNUST and UG, on the one hand, and the GTEC, on the other, both parties resolved to expedite action on the prior agreed plan for a speedy resolution.
Professor Salifu advised potential students and parents to always visit the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) website to check on the accreditation status of all programmes before enrolling on them.