The President of Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP), Pln. Mohammed Alhassan has disclosed that the Planning Technician Class, currently working predominantly with the Physical Planning Departments and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA), will be admitted into the Institute starting from the year 2022.
This, according to him, will afford them tremendous opportunities for exposure, networking, learning, and speedy career development
The GIP President disclosed this at the 2021 National Executive Council Meeting of the Planning Technicians held in Kumasi on Thursday 15th July 2021.
The meeting among others was aimed at reviewing performance reports of the regional chapters of the Association, adoption of a revised constitution, and interacting with the leadership of the GIP and KNUST for insights on career progression and development.
Addressing members of the Association during the meeting, the President of GIP stated that “although the Planning Technician Class has been the backbone of town planning practice in Ghana, they have for long been ignored and denied the opportunity to continuously improve their knowledge and skills for improved town planning service delivery in Ghana”.
He added that “the Planning Technicians have literally been left to their fate, and most often undermined by the system, especially at the local government level where over 50% of Physical Planning Departments are manned by Planning Technicians”.
According to the GIP President, this state of affairs has negatively impacted town planning service delivery, leading to a consistent lowering of Ghana’s ranking on the World Bank annual “Ease of Doing Business” rankings in relation to construction permitting.
Pln. Mohammed Alhassan, also observed that a recent research into the career development prospects of the Planning Technician class has revealed that there are currently about 600 Planning Technicians working with the District Assemblies, and two out of every three of them are frantically seeking, or already taken steps to migrate from the technician class to become Physical Planning Officers.
He observed further that this trend was dangerous and could see the Planning Technician class obliterated in less than a decade if the trend was not reversed. Planning Technicians have been trained differently and are therefore unique in terms of the services they offer. “Changing this trend will require opportunities for tailor-made training aimed at boosting the career development of these category of officers” he added.
Pln. Mohammed assured the members of the Planning Technician class that the Ghana Institute of Planners was working with a number of Technical Universities in the country to mount programmes that are specifically tailored towards their needs. This programmes shall lead to the award of Diploma and other certificates.
Taking his turn to address participants at the meeting, the National Chairman of the Planning Technicians of Ghana, Mr. Gyimah Allan Charles encouraged his colleagues to support the GIP President’s vision by providing the Institute will all the information it requires to make this dream come true.
He charged the leadership of the Institute to fast-track processes leading to mounting special programmes for the Planning Technicians because, according to him, they were in desperate times.
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Gyimah thanked the President of GIP, saying that he was well poised to carry his members along to see the vision of the Institute for Planning Technicians come to pass. Participants at the meeting took the opportunity to seek clarification on admission requirements of Planning Technicians into the Ghana Institute of Planners as well as their obligations, rights and privileges.