Contribution of Ghana’s development of polytechnics to national prosperity and challenges to their sustainability : focusing on staff turnover
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This study examined the importance of polytechnics in Ghana’s development; its management and constraints-especially faculty turnover and how it impacts on sustainable polytechnic education. The sample comprised a total of 65 respondents drawn from six stakeholder groups: former polytechnic rectors, current polytechnic administrators’ current faculty; former polytechnic faculty, students, government officials as well as retired government officials. The study adopted a qualitative method to elicit data. However, the main study was preceded by a pilot study focusing on faculty turnover. Questionnaire informed by instruments used in earlier studies by Klass (2007) and Samuel (2008) were adapted and modified to suit the pilot study. An electronic questionnaire comprising 41 questions with a four (4) point scale (agree, uncertain, disagree and strongly disagree) on turnover and its consequences was hosted at Survey Monkey web site for administration by current polytechnic faculty. The link was emailed to 14 randomly selected current faculty members of seven polytechnics for administration and submission. These provided lead-in themes for the main qualitative study. Data for the main study was collected via interviews involving all six groups. Results indicate that polytechnics are important and contribute significantly to the sustenance of Ghana’s economy. Study further proved that polytechnics were mired in a number of constraints including turnover. The second portion examined the constraints of polytechnics with a focus on faculty turnover, causes and consequences on polytechnic sustenance vis-a-vis Ghana’s economy. This was supported by a semi structured interview schedules generated from the pilot study and administered on six case groups. The results showed a high rate of faculty turnover in polytechnics. Further, findings showed that turnover is caused by multiple factors (individual, institutional and environmental factors) which in turn interact with each other to influence turnover. Also, turnover was found to have impacted negatively on polytechnics, their clientele (students) and the national economy of Ghana. Findings of this study have a number of implications for policy especially higher education policy (polytechnics) management and education as well as some suggested strategies to help incentivize the academic staff and smoothen the management of the polytechnics.