We Must Change the Negative Perception of Technical and Vocational Training – President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has called for a fundamental shift in the perception of technical and vocational education if Ghana is to make strides in transforming the structure of her economy and embark on an industrialisation drive.
Addressing the ongoing National Conference on Technical and Vocational Education at the Koforidua Technical University, the President noted that whilst Ghana attained independence around the same time as Malaysia, Singapore and other Far East countries, technical and vocational education, technology and skills training have catapulted those countries into industrial giants, leaving us behind.
The President noted that Africa has the youngest population among all continents, with about of the region’s population being under 25 years of age, and yet Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the world’s poorest population and unemployed.
“Nearly 37% of the world’s extreme working poor reside in sub-Saharan Africa. 34.3% of the region’s employed population live below the poverty threshold of US$1.90 per day. 64% of the employed earn less than US$3.10 a day. Vulnerable employment is 70% of total employed against the global average of 46.3 per cent. These are humbling statistics”, he noted.
President Akufo-Addo spelt out a range of initiatives that his government had outlined in its bid to reform technical and vocational training (TVET) and place it at the heart of its industrialisation drive. These include;
- Undertaking structural reforms by setting up a TVET Service, and TVET Council, and dedicating a whole division of the education service to technical and vocational education, which would have its own Director General.
- Curriculum revision of TVET institutions.
- Construction of 20 modern TVET institutions across the country.
- Upgrading some 35 National and Vocational Training Institutes across the country, and upgrading Colleges of Education that specialize in technology.
- Realigning all technical and vocational institutions under the Ministry of Education to promote standardisation, harmonisation and efficiency.
The President announced further that government has also restructured the Ministry of Education, dedicating one Deputy Minister entirely to technical and vocational education.
After his address, the President went on to inspect an exhibition mounted on the university campus by students from various vocational and technical institution in the region.
The conference, which has attracted experts, academics, government officials, industry leaders, development partners, educational investors has been seeking to build a national consensus on how best to reform technical and vocational training and will end on Friday.
RODNEY NKRUMAH BOATENG
Ministry of Education