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05.05.2004 Education

Pay serious attention to technical education - director

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Kasoa (C/R), May 5, GNA - The government has been asked to pay serious and positive attention to the promotion of technical education. The Managing-Director of Andam Technical/Computer Training Institute, Kasoa, Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah Andam, made the call at Kasoa at the weekend.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Andam mentioned lack of political will to provide the required financial and material support to government and private technical institutions, persistent refusal of the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports to give selection cards to private technical institutes to enable them enrol interested first year senior secondary school students as some of the serious bottlenecks impeding the forward march of technical education in the country.

Mr Andam said another serious setback which had virtually put-off thousands of talented technicians from pursuing further their education and come back to assist in nation building process was the persistent failure of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to allow technical teachers and brilliant students to do specialisation programmes solely on building, construction, electrical works and auto mechanical functions in our universities.

He said the issue had compelled thousands of talented technical teachers and promising technical students at junior and senior secondary schools in the country to abandon their technical pursuits and enter different professions, thereby making it very difficult for both government and private technical institutions to secure adequate technical teachers to teach in their schools.

On the selection card, Mr Andam regretted that tireless efforts by his institute over the years to obtain a selection card to help him enrol interested first year senior secondary school students had proved futile, because "I have persistently ignored Ghana Education Service's (GES) advice to turn my institution into a Secondary/Technical School."

Mr Andam said time has come for the nation to initiate a more pragmatic and positive approach towards removing all bottlenecks that had for many years impeded the advancement of technical education in the country, so that talented technicians in the country could made a breakthrough in their educational pursuits to supplement the national reconstruction efforts.

The managing-director said countries like, China, the Koreas, India, South African, Japan and the rest have made it and continue to make dramatic advances in their economic pursuits simply because, they are capable of putting their technical know-how into practice.

Mr Andam warned that until the nation learned to encourage and make use of people who can translate their technical knowledge into practical terms for their communities and the nation to benefit, and stop her heavy reliance on citizens who cannot use their accumulated technical know-how to better the lot of the nation, the future of Ghana would continue to be bleak.

He pointed out that the country's socio-economic dreams can only be materialized if we train as many practically-oriented men and women who will use their technical knowledge to reactivate the numerous abandoned industries and initiate more to support the economy.

Meanwhile, Mr Andam has appealed to the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports to initiate moves to review the GES's stand on the selection cards for private technical institutes and device a means to assist private technical schools throughout the country.