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02.11.2005 Education

Review of technical education curricula opens

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Accra, Nov. 2, GNA - Government's plans to reform technical education should go along with attractive salaries for instructors of the institutions to attract master craftsmen from industry to train students and make them more competent, Mr Asamoah Duodu, Director of Technical and Vocational Education at the Ghana Education Service, said on Tuesday.

He said at present the salary level was very low making it difficult to attract master craftsmen who are technically oriented and had the right skills to teach.

This, he noted, was affecting the delivery of quality technical education and suggested that the salary level of the technical school instructors be made comparable to their counterparts in the industry. Mr Duodo said this when he opened a two-week competency-based workshop aimed at reviewing the existing technical education curricula that was considered outdated and not meeting the demands of the industry at Ajumako in the Central Region.

About 45 trade practitioners from industry and the informal sector of the various trades as well as ex aminers and teachers are participating in the workshop. The participants would review a curricula developed in Nigeria with the collaboration of UNESCO to make it suitable to the needs of Ghana. The curricula include substantial components of English, Mathematics, Science, Entrepreneurship, Economics and Computer Studies in addition to regular trade courses. Mr Duodo said being able to produce the human capital that would be able to apply the appropriate technology in industry required the development of curricula that would guide training delivery. These curricula then become the road map, which would lead the providers of technical and vocation education and training to achieve the desired objectives.

"If irrelevant curricula are developed, poor theories and practical skills are going to be imparted to the trainees and the trainees would come out of school with skills and knowledge that are not demand-driven and industry may have to retrain them upon employment to make them useful.

"You have heard about the collapse of structures in the process of construction in Ghana. You are aware of the crude ways by which some artisans in Ghana practice their trades and you are aware that sometimes foreigners win the big contracts as a result of the edge they have over local contractors."

He said these shortcomings or defects in society could be addressed when we improved upon the quality of TVET delivery in training institutions, adding that it was only relevant and appropriate curricula that would dictate what to teach.

Mr Duodo said the workshop had long been overdue and urged the participants to commit themselves to the task and come out with curricula that would again be reviewed periodically to stand the test of time in terms of technological advancement.

He said the Government Education Reform Committee's report recommended the need to re-establish an apprenticeship scheme adding, however, that industrial attachment was very relevant but was a major problem.

He said a new Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) made up of experts in all aspects of technical fields was to be set up to help address the problems facing technical education.

Mr Duodu said under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy every district was to have a technical school and under the education medium term strategic plan 10 new technical schools were to be established with two in Brong Ahafo Region.

Mrs Sophia Mate Korle, Head of Technical Examination Unit, said these curricula clearly defined learning outcomes; teachers' activities and resources adding that it was a complete departure from the existing syllabuses expecting to lead to quality delivery.

She expressed the hope that the appropriate industrial training advisory board of TVET Council when set up would look at the reviewed curricula and develop it further.