The African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE), an organisation strengthening second and third cycle educational institutions through provision of professional skill development knowledge, has urged corporate organisations to support educational initiatives in the COVID-19 environment.
Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Chairman of ABCDE, made this plea in his address at the ABCDE International Youth Day Conference held under the theme ‘Corporate support for educational initiatives in the COVID-19 environment’.
The forum, which brought together stakeholders in the education sector, discussed the investments made by corporate organisations and NGOs to support education in Ghana; as well as the challenges they have been facing, especially in this COVID-19 era.
“Different companies, based on their area of operation, must help in that field. If a company is into real-estate or construction, then they will have to train the youth in carpentry or artisanal skills or surveying, among others, to bring their ideas and support the construction industry.
“The companies are helping but can always do more; in fact, the best thing that can happen to all of us is to improve collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships because government alone cannot do everything; likewise, religious organisations and companies and NGOs. So, religious organisations, whether Islamic or Christian, combining with the private sector and supported by government with the role of parents is all we need to solve all our problems,” he said.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah, reiterated the importance of International Youth Day instituted by the UN, stressing the opportunity it offers stakeholders to come together and deliberate on how to develop professional skills of the young ones to be able to develop their own talent and be able to make a living out of it without depending on government.
Prosper Kwasi Nyavor, National Programme Officer (Education), UNESCO Ghana – also speaking at the conference, urged the private sector to invest in education and training of the youth; emphasising that when business owners invest in knowledge upgrade of the youth now, they will sleep comfortably at night.
In addition, he stated that the UNESCO has four pillars of education which must be factored comprehensively in training and educating the youth for a better next-generation.
They include learning to know, which entails understanding the concept of the rationale behind something; learning to do, which is basically skills acquisition; learning to live together, which also means accepting different opinions and cultures of other people to live in harmony without claiming cultural superiority; and learning to be, which stands for personality development and acceptance of oneself.
The Chairman of Great Argon Holdings and Ghana Advertisers Association, Torgbor Mensah, commended ABCDE for organising the International Youth Day in Ghana to give salience to human capital development in the country, especially among the youth.
He emphasised that supporting education and training is a life-long activity that cannot be stopped at any point in time; therefore, the private sector – though is facing difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic – must not relent in its support for educational initiatives.