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26.11.2008 General News

Lack Of Facilities Hampers Work At OIC

Lack of adequate support for the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre (OIC) is seriously threatening continued existence of the centre.

After the withdrawal of the  mother organisation, based in the City of Philadelphia in the United States of America , the only support the school received from the government was the payment of salaries of tutors.

The school had to generate funds internally to take care of its depreciating structures and purchases of training materials.

At the moment, its biggest challenge is how to pay utility bills and procure training materials such as timber, tools for the workshop, computers, typewriters and other materials for the straightening and welding departments.

In Sekondi, the school has a population of more than 200 students who do not pay fees,  as they are only charged what is termed “user fees” as their contribution towards their training.

The school authorities are, therefore, appealing to the corporate bodies in the metropolis and the region as a whole to support it to realise its dream of providing useful skills training for the youth.

The centre is appealing to all to help provide skills training for the youth who have  demonstrated the zeal to study to enable them to be trained to prevent them from  becoming a nuisance to society.

The Training Supervisor of the centre, Mr John Kingsley Dadzie, told the Daily Graphic that the focus of the OIC was skills development and employment generation through adoption of programmes that would ensure a comprehensive human resource development in the country.

He said the programme modules of the centre aimed at ensuring that the vocational skills training and employment opportunities provided by the OIC projects were always relevant to the country's needs. 

Mr Dadzie said over the years many students passed through the school and some of them had comfortably settled and were self-employed and providing jobs for people, while others were pursuing further studies.

The training supervisor said the centre provided balanced non-formal education, with training consisting of 70 per cent practical sessions and 30 per cent theory, after which the students were sent to reputable institutions for internship.

Mr Dadzie said the students were trained for two years, after which they sat for NVTI Grade II examinations and Grade I after obtaining the OIC certificates. 

He said those who wished to continue their studies could proceed to the polytechnics through the country.

Another problem facing the school was the absence of a drainage system near the school and pleaded with the metropolitan assembly to construct a drain for it.

“This year, we did not experience heavy rains to warrant flooding, but I can say that when it rains, the whole school gets flooded and obstructs academic work”, he said.

“We have very unique structures to ensure that the children are given the best form of training,” the supervisor said, adding that they had a counselling centre to ensure that students were counselled on various aspects of the programmes they chose to pursue.

“The counsellors also take their time, listen to the students and they both arrive at an acceptable decision that is acceptable to the students and their tutors”, he said.

He expressed his gratitude to West Africa Mills Company (WAMCO), Ghana Telecom, the Parent-Teacher Association of the school and other stakeholders for helping the centre to keep its head above water.

The training supervisor also appealed to the government to support the school.