The head of the National Cardiothoracic Centre of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, says vocational education should be seen not only as a means of providing training and employment for the youth.
Rather, it should be seen as an indispensable link in the chain of wealth creation and prosperity for Ghanaians.
He was speaking at the 13th congregation lecture of the University of Education at Winneba, under the theme: 'Sustaining excellence in education leadership for accelerated national development'.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng, also chairman of Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), said to address the needs of millions of young people who drop out of school annually and those who graduated without employable skills and knowledge, there was the need to pay more attention to vocational and skills training.
Speaking on the topic, 'Role of education in addressing streetism', Professor Frimpong-Boateng said records indicated that there were large numbers of children who were not in pre-school and basic schools.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng who is also president of the Ghana Heart Foundation, said 888,000 children representing 56 per cent of a total 1,600,000 of the age group were enrolled in the Junior High School.
“At the Senior High School level only 222,000, representing 14 per cent of the 1,600,000 are in school.
These figures clearly show that secondary education, inadequate as it is, remained the most accessible form of higher education in Ghana, he said.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng said the establishment of the National Council for Technical and Vocational Training Education to guide and sensitise the public on technical and vocational education training was a step in the right direction.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UEW, Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, who chaired the function, attributed the increasing number of street children to poverty.
He appealed to society, parents and relatives to support their family members, especially the youth, to acquire skills to avoid streetism in the country.