Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Winneba, Professor Jophus Anamoah-Mensah and the current Chairman of the Governing Council of Jayee University College, has called for reforms and re-engineering of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) as a means of curbing unemployment in the country./
He said economic viability and competitiveness depended on quality work force and placement of skills development on the country’s development agenda. He stressed the need for a balance between academic work and vocational development to propel the country’s growth. Prof. Anamoah-Mensah was speaking at the Comfort Ntiamoah-Mensah Memorial Forum on Vocational Training for Females (VTF) at Osu in Accra. The occasion was also used to launch the Comfort Ntiamoah-Mensah Foundation. The forum was under the theme: Building a Solid Foundation for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in Ghana - a Situational Analysis.
The VTF programme was established by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and its partner, the Bread for the World/ Protestant Development Service, Germany, to respond to the church’s socio-economic objectives of transforming lives of the people. Prof. Anamuah-Mensah said though TVET played a very important role in the development agenda little attention was paid to it. He said the unemployment rates in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Benin were worrying adding that Ghana stood tall among them with 5.3 per cent unemployment rate. “In the case of Benin the unemployment rate is 1.1 per cent and Sierra Leone is 2.3 per cent. What is wrong with Ghana?” he quizzed. He said the country had 45 technical institutions with over 860 secondary schools yet little attention was paid to technical education and training and urged the Government to commit more resources and logistics its development.
Mr Seth O. Asamoah, the Head of Assessment and Certification, Council of Technical Vocation Education Training, said developed economies rode on the back of TVET and that Korea, which was branded as one of the poorest nations, now stood as the sixth richest nation as a result of TVET while Malaysia made over 2,500 products out of palm nut. Mr Asamoah said one of the challenges facing TVET was the negative perception some people had about it as an avenue for school drop-outs, and this must be condemned. He expressed dissatisfaction about the drop-out rate from the junior to senior high schools adding that six per cent of children dropped out each year. Mr Asamoah described that as a serious time-bomb the country was sitting on adding that it was TVET that could curtail those problems.
“It is said that there is no TVET institution in Ghana that can boast of state-of-the-art equipment. “TVET in the past received 0.5 per cent budget from the Ministry of Education but that has now been raised to one per cent,” he said. He called for unified TVET qualification framework to bring about harmony and sanity on the job market. Mrs Leticia Osafo-Addo, the chairperson of VTF Board, said TVET was considered as next to nothing, however, it formed the backbone and spring board of the country’s socio-economic development and called for resources to revamp it.