Ghana’s first-ever TVET water management curriculum 


Grundfos SafeWater and Global Water Center plan to hold the ceremonial launch of the first-of-its-kind CTVET curriculum for water management on February 29, 2024, at St. Paul’s Technical Institute in East Akim Municipal. 

In Ghana, Grundfos SafeWater, together with Global Water Center (GWC) and their partners, are helping to kill two birds — unemployment and inadequate water infrastructure — with one stone. The ambitious strategy involves giving young Ghanaians who are eager for work the opportunity to become certified technicians who can keep the country’s water systems running.

According to the World Banki, in 2021 the youth unemployment rate in Ghana stood at 19.7percent and was even higher among the younger youth group (15-24) at 32.8percent. Equipping these young people with the right skills is a key element of addressing the water access crisis — as least 26percent of Ghanaians (more than eight million people) live without access to potable water.

The initiative — funded by the Grundfos Foundation — reached an important milestone in January 2024 when the first 20 students began a special vocational training programme at the St Paul’s Technical Institute in the Eastern region, where a laboratory has been equipped to give students hands-on experience.

Two curricula for the programme — in which Safe Water Network, Cleanearth Scientific, Water Mission, Jahan Engineering, the Ghana Technical & Vocational Education Training (TVET) Service, Dr. Stephen Turkson and Grundfos distributors are also partnering — will give school-leavers the skills to install and maintain small-scale water systems, particularly in rural areas. The curricula were approved in October 2023 by the Board of the Commission for TVET (CTVET).

Eileen Jarnholt, Project Manager for TVET Development at GWC — a non-profit in capacity development of the WASH sector — says: “National Certificates I and II in Water Technology have been approved. Project partners are working together with the pilot school to prepare the staff and facilities for student to begin in January 2024.”

“Building skills is core to our values,” says Anise Sacranie, Water Access Director, Grundfos SafeWater. “This programme does just this in rural areas where the need is greatest to ensure that water systems are reliable and sustainable. Ghana has about 100 TVET institutions, 47 of them supported by the government — these are the ones that can now run the curriculum. We hope this certification can be replicated across the country and provide the basis to scale the concept across the continent!”

Nearly one-third of existing water systems in Ghana are not operating due to lack of maintenance, and many more operate below their design capacity. “A lack of adequate skills is partially responsible for this,” says Xorlali Yao-Kuma Kpodo, Engagement Manager, Grundfos SafeWater.

The new TVET initiative is designed to change this narrative. “Young people will study solar pumps, water systems, treatment, distribution, how to reduce non-revenue water, irrigation, and so forth,” says Xorlali. “This will equip them with employable skills and will support efforts to bridge the skills gap that small-town water implementers face across the region.”

Benjamin Filskov, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives & Collective Impact at GWC, says the next phase of the initiative will see the development of occupational standards and learning materials for the National Proficiency I & II qualifications. “This will create a pathway for the most marginalised youth without any formal education to enter the workforce in the water sector.”

The CTVET, the Ghana TVET Service and other private and non-profit collaborators are ideal partners in this training initiative. Grundfos SafeWater and Global Water Center plan to hold the ceremonial launch of the first-of-its-kind CTVET curriculum for water management on February 29, 2024, at St. Paul’s Technical Institute in East Akim Municipal.

“Education and vocational skills are important building blocks in creating a more sustainable and reliable water infrastructure in Ghana,” says Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Executive Director of the Grundfos Foundation. “This initiative will be key to improve overall health and hygiene, youth employment, and overall economic development in rural communities.”

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