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10.09.2005 Education

New educational reforms required

GNA

Koforidua, Sept.10, GNA- A Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Dr Charles Brempong-Yeboah, says for the new educational reforms to be beneficial to national development, efforts must focus on addressing the deep structural deficiencies in the current system. He noted with concern that the current educational system, which was based on reforms implemented since the 1980s had failed in generating the expected creativity and entrepreneurial fervour that was necessary in job creation.

Dr Brempong-Yeboah was speaking at a graduation ceremony to mark the end of 12 months apprenticeship training in various artisanal trades for 100 participants under the Skills Training and Employment Placement Programme (STEP) being run by the GRATIS Foundation at Koforidua on Friday.

Drumming up support for the new educational reforms rolled out by the NPP administration, the Deputy Minister said it could no longer be accepted that, "our educational institutions continue to churn out large numbers of youth without any jobs to walk into as they lack the necessary skills."

The STEP programme, he explained, was embedded in the poverty reduction agenda of the government and its thrust was giving training to beneficiaries in trades plus a micro-finance support schedule that was expected to be used by recipients as a start-up capital to enable them tostart their own businesses.

Dr. Brempong-Yeboah stated that government, through such skills training programme, was shifting from a welfare policy to empowering the youth through the provision of training in demand-driven skills, to make them employable and also to enable them to start their own businesses. This position, according to the Minister, was informed by evidence which pointed to the fact that the economy of most productive nations were "characterized by a flexible and well-qualified labour market that has a rich and diverse mix of skills which are continuously updated and developed throughout life."

In an address read for him, Mr. Kwabena Dankyi Darfour, Chief Executive Officer of GRATIS Foundation, posited that the development of Ghana was at a stage, which made it imperative "for us to equip our human resource, especially the youth, with practical skills and knowledge for employment."

The Foundation, he affirmed, was therefore, prepared to provide individuals with appropriate technologies, equipment and skills that would enable them to increase their productivity and invariably, their incomes.

Mr Darfour observed that because the training cost per head of beneficiary of the STEP project was staggering and increasing, it would need government's continual support in discharging its mandate. The 100 graduands who were later awarded with certificates, had undergone training in metal fabrication, woodwork, metal machining, auto mechanics and electronics.

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