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19.07.2005 Regional News

Roundtable on technical and vocational training opens


Accra, July 19, GNA - An education roundtable on the introduction of Competency-Based Training (CBT) in Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) system opened in Accra on Tuesday.

The forum would also discuss and give a critique on vital aspects of technical and vocational education and fashion out suitable measures to ensure quality in the delivery of such education in the country. The workshop was necessitated by the recognition of the lapses in the current curricula of technical and vocational training programmes and the need to revamp that sub-sector of education to provide the required middle level manpower to feed industry.

It was jointly organised by the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Sports with counterpart support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State In-charge Tertiary Education, in her opening address recounted the relevance of vocational and technical education to development, particularly in wealth creation and poverty reduction. She said economic progress depended largely on the productivity of industry vis a-vis the level of technological advancement that was being pursued. "Technological advancement on the other hand results from the extent to which science and technology including technical education is promoted and delivered." The Minister of State pointed out that the quality of technical education delivery in the country at all levels had not been the best blaming it on the nature of the curriculum and the experience of technical instructors.

Ms Ohene stated that training institutions depended mainly on theory-oriented and outdated syllabuses and obsolete equipment that had led to the production of graduates with skills and knowledge that were not relevant to the current needs of industry. She noted that it was against this backdrop that the Government had focused on vocational and technical education with emphasis on addressing the problems militating against the quality of that sub-sector of education, at both pre-tertiary and at tertiary levels. The Minster urged industry to effectively collaborate with technical institutions to structure demand-driven programmes that would be relevant for work.

"Government on its part has already demonstrated commitment in the White Paper on Education Reform to establish the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training and to increase funding to this sub-sector."

Ms Norika Mazda, a representative of JICA, said human resource was crucial to nation building and that the Japanese Government was committed to supporting Ghana to develop her manpower needs. She said Japan was not endowed with natural resources as Ghana but it invested in its human resources and that gave her sound foundation for economic and social development.

Ms Norika noted that with Ghana's strides in consolidating her democracy and maintaining political stability, it was on the path to economic revolution.

She said the Government of Japan was instrumental in the introduction of Competency-Based Training System under the current TVET policy and would continue to offer the needed support to ensure the full implementation of the programme. Mrs Anan Karikari, a representative of Ghana Employers' Association (GEA), said technical and vocational training had suffered so much over the years due to lack of effective coordination between industry and the training institutions. She said recognising the crucial role of technical manpower to industry it would foster close collaboration with the appropriate institutions to ensure that the requisite personnel were churned out to meet the demand of industry.