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04.07.2005 Education

Get rid of negative perception about vocational education


Toase (Ash), July 4, GNA- Society's negative perception that vocational and technical education is for school dropouts is undermining government's commitment to solving unemployment problems and improving middle-level manpower development.

If Ghana is to develop technologically, the negative notion and issues that affect vocational and technological development must be eliminated.

Mrs Akua Gyeemah-Konto, President of the Ghana National Association of Vocational and Technical Institute (GNAVTI), who made the observations, also said unemployment could be adequately curbed if the youth were encouraged to acquire vocational and technical skills. She was speaking at the first graduation ceremony of 15 students of Cataab Vocational and Commercial Institute at Toase in the Atwima-Nwabiagya District on Saturday.

Mr Thomas Ofori-Donkor, the District Chief Executive for Atwima-Nwabiagya, said the acquisition of practical skills by the youth was important in improving the nation's socio-economic competitiveness. The government, he said, was committed to the training of unemployed youth to acquire basic skills.

Mr Ofori-Donkor advised the students to combine their chosen profession with discipline, adding, "A respectful and obedient student is a great asset to the society and the nation".

Mrs Anna Baffoe-Bonnie, the Director of the Institute, said the school has a population of 120 as against four in 1999 when it was established, and more than 80 students have so far graduated. She said the inability of some parents to pay the fees of their wards on time is undermining the efficient management of the institute. Mr B.B. Yirenkyi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Atwima-Mponua Rural Bank, donated five million cedis on behalf of the bank to the institute.