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30.12.2004 Education

Lets have comprehensive national policy on technical and vocational education

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Accra, Dec. 30, GNA- Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), on Thursday called for a comprehensive national policy to promote technical and vocational training in the country. This would definitely facilitate wealth creation, Prof Anamuah-Mensah said.

He said the 160 technical and vocational educational training schools (TVETS) in the country were operating without coordination, hence the need for a policy to ensure effective management of training programmes.

Prof. Anamuah-Mensah, was delivering a lecture on: "Technical and Educational Training for Wealth Creation", at the 56th Annual New Year School, underway at the University of Ghana, Legon.

The School being organised by the Institute of Adult Education of the University, is on the theme: " Wealth Creation for Accelerated National Development: Imperatives and Challenges".

The Vice-Chancellor said Ghana would achieve very little in its drive towards wealth creation without efforts to reform technical and vocational training. He said it was necessary to find solutions to the dwindling budgets of the TVETS, lack of professional teachers and obsolete equipment for teaching.

Prof. Anamuah-Mensah said graduates from the TVETS were faced with lack of employment, academic progression and social recognition mainly through the distinction between technical and vocational schools and the general educational system.

He called for a special fund to support technical and vocational education, through a levy from employers, students and the industries.

Prof Anamuah-Mensah also called for the re-introduction of education on entrepreneur skills and promotion of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) into the curricula of the TVETS.

TVETS graduates who want to establish their own ventures should be given tax holidays, credit and other business packages.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Reverend Professor Emmanuel Addow-Obeng, who was the Participating Chairman at the function, said it was worrying that between 33 and 40 per cent of qualified applicants to the public universities could not gain admission, every academic year, while the ratio between female and male students admitted was not proportional.

He said the physically disabled and applicants from the rural areas especially from Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions were also advantaged in gaining admissions and called the need to bridge the gap to improve the human resource development.

Rev. Prof. Addow-Obeng said students who gain admission were often confronted with lack of teaching and learning facilities, and sited the UCC where 1,200 could be crowded in one lecture hall for unmotivated lecturers to teach them. He said there was the need for scholarships and bursaries for students who genuinely cannot pay their fees.

He noted that protecting family values was basic to improving the country's human capital development.

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