The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, has stated that government will construct 20 more modern TVET institutions as well as upgrade some 35 national and vocational training institutes in the country.
This is in connection with government’s plan to make technical and vocational education attractive, and to redeem the misconception that technical and vocational education are inferior and patronised by less endowed students.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo at the educataGhana 2018 conference in Accra, the minister explained that a nation’s competitiveness depends to a large extent on the productivity of its workforce – which in turn rests on the quality of the workforce’s skills.
“Technical and vocational education has an enormous potential for developing human capital for national development. This is the reason my government has laid emphasis on improving education; particularly technical and vocational education. We are also introducing parliamentary reforms to this sector in our efforts to mainstream it as first and not last,” he added.
The minister further stated that the nation’s educational intervention progress through technical and vocational education in the past has been ill-programmed and lacked the needed political will.
“The terrain of technical-vocational education has been facing enormous challenges: including low national budget, obsolete and inadequate facilities and equipment, low learning outcomes, obsolete academic curricula, low local perception of technical and vocational skills, poor cooperation between industry and academia, the relative absence of qualified teachers and instructors, and the relative absence of tertiary degree-awarding institutions to train teachers in skill development.”
He said with its introduction of the free senior high school policy as an integral part of the educational system, government is pursuing several reforms in teacher education and curriculum development, among others, to address these challenges.
“The lessons learnt in Africa’s educational system show low capacity in skills development. Our inability to generate such knowledge has disabled development of skills among the youth and the workforce.
“The strategy, then, has been to explore technical and vocational opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels; and thereby strengthen the linkages between education and industry as well as give opportunities for young ones to deploy their skills and employ themselves and others,” he added.
“We are undertaking structural reforms by setting up a TVET council, and dedicating a whole division of the education service to technical and vocational education that will have its own Director-General.
“Government has also restructured the Ministry of Education, dedicating one minister entirely to technical and vocational education,” he announced.
He promised stakeholders that government will continue to invest in technical and vocational training because it is a catalyst of change.
educataGhana 2018, Ghana’s first international education exhibition and idea-factory is organised by the Finanzgruppe – Sparkassenstiftung fur international Kooperation, the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
It is a platform that offers students, professionals, private and state-owned companies, governmental and public institutions a comprehensive overview of all existing education stakeholders in Ghana.
Participants presented their education-related products, services and activities, as well as covered discussions about existing programmes, current needs and demands, strategies and stakeholder exchanges.