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26.10.2005 Regional News

Principals says govt not promoting vocational training

By GNA
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Anloga (V/R), Oct 26, GNA - The Association of Principals of Technical Institutions (APTI) has expressed concern over the lukewarm approach to technical and vocational education and training and called on the government to revert the trend.

It said the high premium and expansion vocational training enjoyed during the first republic to create professionals and skilled labour for faster economic growth is now lost.

Mr John Boafo, Principal of Takoradi Technical Institute and president of APTI, said this during the opening of the association's 21st annual conference on Tuesday at Anloga.

''Encouraging female participation in male dominated programmes in the technical and vocational education and training: "a major contribution for socio-economic development of Ghana", was the theme of the conference with 23 delegates attending.

"Government then believed that a good environment for industrialization could be achieved through vocational and technical training and as such ranked it high", Mr Boafo said.

He said while there are 474 public senior secondary schools in the country, only 22 public technical schools could be counted with none in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Mr Boafo called for a national scheme alongside the UNESCO 1996-2001 project on scientific, technical and vocational education for girls in Africa to address problems that inhibit female interest and participation especially in vocational and technical training in Ghana. Mr Kwame Ampofo Twumasi, a Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Secondary Education, said the government was committed to the sector's development.

He said 40 billion cedis GET-Fund and another 700 million cedis was allocated to the sector this year to improve on its facilities in addition to increased budget allocation awaiting them in 2006, but he urged the principals to work harder with the little available. Pleading for more international support for the sector, Mr Twumasi tasked the conference to delve into how to change public perception about vocational and technical training and look at the curriculum, how to attract females, how to showcase the successes of the sector and the way forward in a decade's time.

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