Nandom, Nov. 21, GNA - The conference of National Vocational and Technical Institutes managers from all the 38 vocational schools throughout the country at the weekend appealed to the government to extend the capitation grant to them.
They also appealed to the government to consider listing all the vocational schools on the West African Examinations Council selection cards to give the students the opportunity to make their own choices. Mr Godwin Kudese, president of the Conference of Managers, who made the appeal during their second annual conference at Nandom in the Upper West Region, said most of the vocational schools in the country were almost collapsing, due to poor enrolment and lack of material and financial support from the government.
He said the extension of the capitation grant to the vocational schools would give parents the breathing space to take good care of their wards to become the skilled hands the country needs. "We are training a lot of people to become the cream of labour in the country and it is therefore unfortunate that most of the schools are operating without the requisite working tools that will make them skilled enough to train others in society.
He said apart from payment of salaries of workers and currently the payment of utility bills, various schools were taking care of every other thing and so government's intervention would not only turn out more skilled persons, but would reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country.
They also pleaded with the government to allow them to employ skilled tutors to take effective control of students in their schools. Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister gave the assurance that the new educational reforms, which would take off by 2007 would cover vocational and technical education that would provide the needed manpower of the country.
He said committees would be set up in the region to investigate into the alleged illegal fees some headmasters in the region were allegedly charging and those found guilty would be made to face the full rigors of the law.
Mr Dery said the capitation grant covered both cultural and sports fees and wondered why some teachers were allegedly charging those fees from parents in the region.
Mr George Sule, Lawra District Chief Executive said the Assembly had inaugurated a district employment task force to assess all the employment opportunities of the area and to find out those who were qualified for various positions in the available vacancies. Naa Puore Puobi Chiir IV, Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area promised to release lands for educational programmes.