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01.03.2006 General News

Ghana Canada toolkit for change building scope project launched

By GNA

Accra, March 1, GNA - Mr Kwame Ampofo Twumasi, Deputy Minister of Secondary and Technical Education, on Wednesday launched the 'Ghana-Canada Toolkit for Change; Building Scope Project' aimed at introducing new teaching methodology that would make technical and vocational studies more relevant to meet the needs of industry. Funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Project is a five-year partnership between the Technical and Vocational Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Bow Valley College of Calgary, Canada.

The Project would involve the training of trainers to empower Ghana to accelerate the driving force of comprehensive Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) policy. Another aspect of the project is ChildSpeak, which is an innovative children's literacy and exchange programme between young Ghanaian and Canadian students.

Mr Twumasi said the project had already developed competencies and job profiles in nine TVET trade areas including, Carpentry and Joinery, Dress making and tailoring, Block laying and concreting, information technology, electrical installation; auto-body repairs, cookery, refrigeration and air conditioning.

He said instructors from the GES and National and Vocation Training Institute under the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment had been trained for the implementation of the Project.

Mr Twumasi pledged the Ministry's commitment and support for the Project to achieve its objective to further strengthen Ghana and Canada's relationship.

He said the Ministry was interested in the project because it addressed some of the most important issues that the Government sought to achieve through its white paper on review of education reforms in Ghana and the TVET policy.

Notably among them is enhancing the economic performance of the informal sector through integration with TVET formal sector. This way the youth, who received training in the informal sector would receive credit for transfer of skills acquired for purposes of upgrading.

Ms Claire Millinton, CIDA Project Coordinator, said the curricula would be project-based and would integrate technical training, entrepreneurship training and workplace-focussed literacy and numeracy skills training.

Mr Archie Book, Director of Development Cooperation, CIDA, said the project would be catalyst for improving small and medium scale enterprises by providing training that would meet their needs. Mrs Anna Kae Todd, Vice President of the Bow Valley College in Canada, said she was impressed about the proposed TVET policy and expressed optimism that the policy would also point indirectly to job creation as a necessary part of the economic development solution for Ghana.

As Ghana begins the process of creating one cohesive TVET system, the education service would undertake much of the work associated with the merger of formal and non-formal technical/vocational education and training.

Mr Sam Bannerman, Principal of Accra Training College, said the economy had not advanced the way it should be because the educational system had over the years placed more emphasis on grammar or academic type of education to the detriment of technical training. He said there was the need to create an enabling environment for industrial growth to absorb the TVET graduates. 1 March 06

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