Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire TVET institutions worst in SSA- ACET Report

The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), has revealed in its new report that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are worst in the Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) region as the focus continues to be traditionally based with limited technology.
  • as the focus is still on traditional courses.

The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), has revealed in its new report that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are worst in the Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) region as the focus continues to be traditionally based with limited technology.

Rwanda was mentioned to have one of the best systems, with Ethiopia, Uganda, and Niger similarly having proper structures in place respectively.

With traditional courses such as carpentry, motor mechanics, fashion, and catering, dominating without the use of modern technology, it in effect has resulted in the production of graduates with a skill set that does not meet industry requirements.

It was noted that TVET curricula remain poorly aligned to labor market needs, in large part because of weak collaboration with the private sector. Relevant twenty-first-century skills are insufficiently integrated into most curricula, and when they are, the quality of delivery is lacking.

According to the report, which examined youth education, training, and employment, as well as skills challenges and opportunities in six African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Niger, Rwanda, and Uganda, curricula development in SSA countries tend not to reflect the changing nature of work, while teachers often lack adequate training and tools to provide young people with relevant skills.

Titled Strengthening Education and Learning Systems to Deliver a Fourth Industrial Revolution, the report emphasized that no other region has ever faced the magnitude of the education challenges most SSA countries will face over the next couple of decades.

As some countries have made considerable efforts in designing TVET curricula and programs oriented to the market and industrial demands, others even have courses that are directly dictated by the industry, for example.

But many others including Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are still misaligned, falling short of providing the necessary skills required for employment.

“For instance, Rwanda stands out regarding the role of the private sector in promoting youth employment and skills through public-private partnerships. This strategy has ensured that the country gains a better-skilled workforce, more reliable supply, and stronger distribution of networks for effective and efficient operations.

By contrast, in countries such as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, TVET institutions are still focused on traditional courses—including carpentry, motor mechanics, fashion, and catering—using old technologies, which are not attracting young people,” stated the report.

Over the last decade, attempts by governments to promote TVET training and entrepreneurship, such as encouraging graduates to be self-employed, have had very limited success, as graduates from both universities and technical colleges still desire formal public sector employment.

Interestingly, the low value associated with TVET training in these countries continues to be the main challenge.

In most SSA countries, TVET education has always played second fiddle to formal secondary education. Despite the high demand for TVET graduates, TVET institutions struggle with the perception that vocational studies are only meant for those not able to meet entry requirements for secondary school.

Ghana Situation

In Ghana, the total enrollment across the sub-sector was 63,000 in 2017-18. In 2015-16, female enrollment in TVET was 26 percent, a decline from 31 percent in 2012-13. Private TVET institutions in Ghana make up one-third of all TVET institutions but account for only eight percent of enrollment.

The number of students at vocational schools increased from 38,459 in 2016 to 59,583 in 2019, constituting about five percent of the total free SHS enrollment.

Despite the government’s push for increased uptake of TVET to provide the country with a workforce equipped with practical skills, the sector still suffers from the same poor public perception as a place for academically weak students. Vocational schools are also plagued by outdated machinery and curricula, lack of standardization, insufficient investment, and a fragmented landscape.

The Ethiopia & Uganda Example

Ethiopia’s government is working with NGOs, private agencies, and private schools to offer targeted training to people in the informal sector, including school leavers, the unemployed, school dropouts, and marginalized groups in the labor market.

Uganda has combined informal and non-formal training systems into non-formal education programs, which are open to all and offer three-to-six-month TVET skills pieces of training based on competency-based education.

Recommendations and priorities for action

Challenges, opportunities, and best practices emerging from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Niger, Rwanda, and Uganda provide the basis for the following recommendations and priorities for action.

Strong political will and solid institutional capacity in all countries are needed to translate education inputs into learning outcomes. In addition, both the private sector and civil society must be brought on board to support governments in realizing education and employment goals.

Notable among the recommendations included; Ensuring that equipment is available and expanding physical infrastructure to ensure schools are physically accessible to all students, particularly those in rural areas; Integrate twenty-first-century skills into TVET and secondary school curricula; Initiate awareness campaigns and developing incentives to change public attitudes towards TVET; and Establishment of clear and comprehensive teacher education and training policies and strategies.

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