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23.11.2011 Education

Government urged to commit more funds to TVET programmes

By Zainabu Issah & Zoe Darling - Daily Graphic
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Ghanaians have been urged to change their mindset about technical education in order to move the country forward.

A retired politician, Mr K.B. Asante, who made the statement, said: “We cannot enter the modern world with the mindset of white-collar jobs when electricians, plumbers, carpenters, the welders and fitters are the people we constantly need at home and in the workplace.”

He was speaking at the forum organised by the Council for Technical and Vocational Educational Training (COTVET) in Accra to discuss relevant issues relating to economic development and social agenda of the country relating to job creation and poverty reduction.

He added that the COTVET deserved the utmost support of all who valued education as a precursor to economic and social development.

He also called on the Council to avoid unnecessary arguments and try to find out what the market needed now and in the future and try to meet them, since the country could not make satisfying progress in the age of technology without technical and vocational training.

Mr Emmanuel Dei Tumi, a motivational speaker and author, said the government should commit more funds to TVET programmes and determine what the country’s priorities were.

“It is time to demonstrate strong, transformative, and visionary leadership to this cause and to move beyond what is politically convenient and work to secure the future,” he added.

He stressed that Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) could no longer be left in the hands of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and funding agencies, since it is a major national concern that requires a non-partisan approach in addressing it.

Additionally, he said there should be a clear-cut policy directive to discriminately reserve a certain employment placement quota in the security agencies and other areas for graduates from technical and vocational training institutions.

“This will serve as an incentive for a great majority for the youth to begin to pursue technical and vocational courses and hopefully help change public perception about technical and vocational training,” he explained.

Touching on the way forward for TVET in Ghana, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Dr George Afeti, in his speech, said in the medium and long-term, there was the need to have functional national Labour Market Information Systems (LMIS) that would help identify and predict the skills gab and shortages on the labour front.

He added that there was the need to promote and support a quality driven employment and productivity-oriented technical and vocational education and training system to help reduce unemployment and poverty in the country.

The Executive Director of COTVET, Mr Dan Baffour-Awuah, said the technical and vocational sector played critical roles in the national development agenda and there was therefore the need for the government to support the sector.

Madam Eva Lokko, the chairperson for the occasion, said with the rising trend of modern technologies, there was the need to also train the students in Information Communication Technology (ICT) for them to be abreast of the current trend of the ICT system.

She also called for more access to ICT facilities in all professions as the country thrived to be part of the fastest growing economies in the world.

COVET was set up by an Act of Parliament (ACT 718) to formulate national policies in skills development acrosss pre-tertiary and tertiary education in both the formal and non-formal sectors of the economy.

It is also to harmonise the activities of the private and public sectors.

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