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01.11.2005 Regional News

Government urged to pay more attention to VOTECs

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Asamankese, Nov 01, GNA - An educationist has appealed to the government to provide more logistic and financial support to vocational and technical institution in the country

This would ensure that the institutions to achieve the purpose of training the students to be functionally skilful to contribute to national development.

Ms Comfort Ntiamoah Mensah, the Director of Vocational Training for Females (VTF) Programme of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), said this at the silver jubilee anniversary of the St. Mary's Vocational Training Institute (SMAVOC) at Asamankese.

She said even though mission institutions for technical and vocational training were widespread, yet due to the lack of adequate teaching aids, they were not making much impact and this required government's intervention to help improve their standards of delivery. Ms Mensah expressed regret about the drift of qualified teachers from the private vocational and technical institutions to the Ghana Education Service (GES) due to the low remuneration and appealed to the proprietors to improve the working conditions of the teachers to attract and retain them.

Ms Jane Kwapong, the Eastern Regional Director of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, said in order to empower women to play effective role as agents of change, equal access to the attainment of educational qualifications and skills training was essential. She noted that by promoting gender equality and empowering women, the nation would be contributing much towards the reduction of poverty, hunger and disease in the country.

Monsignor Joseph Afrifa Agyekum, the Administrator of the Koforidua Catholic Diocese, said most professionals were not impacting positively on the society because they had resigned to the thought that "they were in those professions because they did not get the opportunity to access university education".

He said in the same manner, trainees of vocational institution demeaned the knowledge they were acquiring because they felt they could not make it to other top level institutions and asked trainees of vocational institutions to re-examine their motives for attending the institute.

Mon. Agyekum called on the students to take advantage of the opportunity of being there and to live by the tenets of discipline and academic excellence to guide them to achieve higher heights. Mr J.B Naeroh, the Eastern Regional Manager of the Catholic Educational Unit, expressed regret that despite its 25 years of existence, the institute is still located within the church premises thereby hindering it's expansion and appealed to all stakeholders to help move it to its permanent site long acquired for the purpose. He commended the government for taking up the payment of the salaries for some members of staff of the institution.

The Member of Parliament for Lower West Akyem, Mr James Appietu-Ankrah, reiterated government's commitment to vocational and technical education and appealed to beneficiaries of such institutions to utilize the opportunity to improve upon their capacity for future self-employment.

He pledged the district assembly's and his own support to move the school to a permanent site within the time frame set for the completion of the project.

Certificates were presented to trainers and trainees who had distinguished themselves in various disciplines to lift the image of the institute, including the pioneer head, Ms Josephine Sey. 01 Nov 05

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