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11.12.2005 Regional News

Eleven organisations signed MOU on the construction of Skill Development Centre

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Tema, Dec. 11, GNA - A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and eleven development partners for the establishment of a one-million Euro Industrial Skill Development Centre at the Tema Technical Institute. The development partners were Fan Milk Ghana Limited, Vlisco, Tema Technical Institute, Accra Brewery, Nexans Cable Metal Ghana, Tex Styles Ghana, Wienco Ghana and the Netherlands Ministry for Development Co-operation.

Under the MOU the Dutch Government is to provide 50 per cent of the funds whiles the other partners take care of the rest of the cost. The Minister of State In-Charge of Tertiary Education, Miss Elizabeth Ohene signed on behalf of the Ministry whiles the Netherlands Ambassador, Mr Ariel van Der Wiel, signed on behalf of the Dutch Government. Representatives of the others signed on behalf of their various companies.

In an address, Miss Elizabeth Ohene noted that although a lot of people are trained with certificates only few of them are able to get jobs and attributed it to the fact that most of them lack the necessary skills adequate for industry requirement. She was optimistic that the centre will train manpower for industries to help solve the problem of unemployment in the country. She lauded the effort of the Dutch Government in supporting the project and gave the assurance of the Government and Ministry's total support to ensure the success of the project. The Minister however, urged the industrial community to also contribute their quota to make it a success since they would also benefit from it.

The Dutch Ambassador, Mr Ariel Wiel, expressed concern about the problems companies face in finding well-qualified technical employees to work for them and said it's unfortunate that technical education in Ghana did remain somewhat under-developed and could not meet the demand of the private sector. He observed that the educational system here is still focused on formal education, that is 'on education for learning and less on education for doing' and said the challenge for the years to come will therefore be to orient education more towards the real needs of social and economic development.

The centre, he said, would enable students to develop their skills in mechanics, electronics and process engineering with regards to modern technology. He further announced that its curriculum would be developed on the basis of a comprehensive Training Need Analysis whiles students would be employees already working in the industries or entering the industries. He said a critical selection procedure would be carried out for the enrolment of the first 84 students to the centre in September 2006.

In his welcoming address, the Principal of Tema Technical Institute, Mr. G.N.T. Provencal said the school, established 41 years ago to meet the middle-level manpower requirement of the textile manufacturing industries, currently offers eleven different programmes tailored to meet the goals of Technical and Vocational education and Training (TVET) of the Ghana Education Service. He stated that Technical and Vocational Training is relevant since it provides the requisite skills, knowledge and attitude in the trainees and it is for that reason that the establishment of the centre should be seen as a new beginning in shaping TVET to match the current standards required by the industries. He lauded the efforts of all the stakeholders involved in the realisation of the project and said the school would maintain a clean and conducive environment needed for quality learning and teaching.