Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has promised free Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) at all levels which he believes will aid in the training of more skilled human resources for national development.
He has also announced the establishment of TVET universities in each of the six newly created regions.
“I’ll make technical and vocational education in Ghana, free of charge. I note that, this has generated a positive reception from Ghanaians. Let me assure that, our program of technical and vocational education are comprehensive and far-reaching. The free TVET will operate from all levels from the second cycle to tertiary.
To be clear, students of technical and vocational education at the second and tertiary level will pay no fees. We must not pay lip service to technical and vocational education. This is the training that will move this country to the next level. So we will bring TVET on board to create the middle-level manpower that will be beneficial to businesses and industries. This is the critical gap my initiative intends to address.”
According to Mr. Mahama, if elected, his administration will continue to clear the hurdles hindering technical and vocational education to make it more attractive for students.
He went on to express his commitment to rebrand and reposition TVET through strategic resourcing and capacity building to solve the staggering unemployment situation in the country.
“We intend to re-align all TVET institutions and place them under the Council for Technical and Vocational and Training (COTVET). In addition, the NDC will build additional and operationalize, new public universities that will have campuses in each of the newly created six reasons. The new universities will focus on technical, vocational and engineering programs. Our TVET program has been well considered to address two main challenges – that is to fix the imbalance and the gap that exists between the top and bottom level manpower requirements. It is designed to build a level of cedar of technical knowledge needed for many sectors of our economy. The second challenge is to address the level of unemployment by providing our young people with the requisite skills set that will enable them to chart a path of self-employment instead of only relying on government for employment”, he added.
In 2013, an NDC government under John Mahama thought it prudent to convert polytechnics into technical universities and accordingly legislation was enacted to support the polytechnic-university migration.
The Bill making that possible was assented to by Mahama in 2016 and the various polytechnics that met the necessary criteria were converted into technical universities.
US$130 million to upgrade TVET
As part of efforts to upgrade the country's Polytechnics, Technical and Vocational Training Centres to improve Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia launched the Ghana-China project.
On the back of this, the Chinese government allocated a US$130 million facility to the Ghanaian government for the upgrade of five technical universities as well as 10 technical institutes across the country.
The institutions are to see an upgrade in the construction of state of the art training workshops for mechanical engineering, automobile engineering, civil engineering, welding engineering among others.
Meanwhile, the Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, had earlier disclosed that the government is undertaking the rehabilitation of almost half of all technical and vocational training institutions in the country.
The rehabilitation is to involve the Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS), and the Opportunities Industrialization Centres (OIC) to provide technological support for industries in the country.
“We mean business when we talk about revitalizing our Technical and Vocational Education and Training,” Dr. Prempeh said.