Mr. K. B. Asante, a retired diplomat, on Wednesday stressed the need to tailor technical and vocational training to meet the current and future needs of the country.
He said developing countries like Ghana would not progress meaningfully without a development plan which indicates the nature and depth of the technical training the country should pursue.
“Technical and vocational education has been with us long enough. We should make it have an impact on all. We cannot make satisfying progress in the age of technology without technical and vocational training,” he said.
Mr. Asante was addressing a Technical and Vocational week organized by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) on the need for technical and vocational training for the development of the country in Accra.
The theme for the week was, “Technical Vocational Training in Ghana; Hope for the Youth, Hope for the Future”.
Mr. Asante said the first years of Independence saw the implementation of ambitious plans for education and economic development. The agricultural and industrial projects established or contemplated revealed the need for appropriate technical education which would assist in-service training.
He acknowledged the fact that TVET had been with Ghanaians especially since the time of independence and he recounted some instances where technicians in Ghana had been instrumental in the construction of prominent infrastructure such as the Achimota College and the Akosombo Dam.
As he recounted the trend of TVET operations in the past, he noted that the Acheampong regime showed great promise during its first years though it did not live long to make a marked impact with its rural policies which should have made a mark on vocational and technical education.
He said Acheampong’s Operation Feed Yourself Programme had a beneficial effect on the acquisition of technical knowledge because ‘Grow what you eat and eat what you grow’ policy liberated the Ghanaian entrepreneurship spirit.
Mr. Emmanuel Dei Tumi, Motivational Speaker and Author, noted that TVET in Ghana had been given little attention and importance which was also due to the public attitude towards TVET courses and programmes in Ghana.
He said students who were admitted to technical and vocational institutions were perceived to be underperformers in academics whereas prominence and attention were given to courses that were related to finance, administration and management.
Mr. Dei Tumi recommended the reintroduction of the Guidance and Counseling units in the basic schools which shout ensure that there were trained counselors to help identify the true potentials of the youth at an early stage.
He advised COTVET to make conscious efforts to change the negative mindset of the public about TVET by soliciting the collaboration of institutions like the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the National Youth Authority (NYA), the National Media Commission (NMC) and the GES.
He stressed the need for more non-formal apprenticeship programmes to be rolled-out to cater for the technical and vocational lapses in the formal sector.
Mr. Dei Tumi called for the streamlining of the various forms of technical and vocational programmes scattered all around and ensure their proper coordination under one umbrella organization.
Madam Eva Lokko, an ICT Consultant, appealed to the Government to commit more funding to TVET programmes and that it was important for a nation to determine what its priorities were and be committed to putting resources there.
She asked parents and students who were the end beneficiaries to invest more into TVET programmes for the betterment of their own children.
Madam Lokko said there should be mutual respect for all professions because every profession had a value which in the end would help build a better Ghana.