By: Hamza Lansah Lolly, Tamale
The Network for Sustainable Poverty Alleviation Ghana (NESPAG) a local NGO has called on the government to commit more resources to the technical and vocational skill training institutions to augment the country’s industrial and technological advancement needs.
The NGO said, the need to promote technical and vocational education in secondary schools in the country is very necessary given the low enrollment it receives, adding that, the worse of it all it’s the Comparative Global Index of technical education rating where Ghana performer badly and as low as 13.1% behind Burkina Faso 20.9%, and Cameroun 22.4%.
According to NESPAG, the country’s technical and vocational education and Training (TVET) is facing a number of challenges as results of long years of neglect.
The NGO said, the problems ranging from poor quality of infrastructure, wide gap between industry and technical graduates, outmoded curriculum, limited academic progression and inadequate financing compound with the negative public attitudes and perceptions towards technical and vocational education and training in Ghana.
NESPAG said this in Tamale, at a Seminar on Technical and Vocational education and training for Senior High Schools in the Northern Region.
At the Tamale Islamic Senior High School, the Secretary of NESPAG, Mr. Adam Samed urged the students to pursue in the technical and vocational education to contribute towards the country’s infrastructure development.
He noted that, unlike colour white jobs there is a ready job market for technical and vocational skills graduates.
Mr. Samed said, the seminar is one of many series by NESPAG to encourage and promote the technical and vocational skill training in Ghana, adding that, NESPAG work to promote education with emphasis on the girl-child, women and vulnerable in the society.
The week long seminar series for secondary schools in the north is meant to help expose the students of the relevance, career and job opportunities and the challenges and how to overcome them of technical and vocational education in Ghana.
The NESPAG Secretary noted that, over 7000 students from various Senior High Schools across the North of Ghana will benefit from the project, including; Vitting SHS, Kalpohin SHS, Dabokpa Technical Institute, Savelugu SHS, Dagbon State Technical School and Yendi SHS.
He said, in order to attract more young people into technical and vocational sector, a number of approaches need to be employed, “top among them being financing through means other than the usual national budget allocation to Ministry of Education allocation that hinges mainly on governments’ ability to raise revenue within a reasonable time frame. It is important for the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GETFUND) to consider formal technical and vocational institutions as a priority sub sector for funding.
Again, government needs to formalize Apprenticeship Training and establish a National Apprenticeship Training Board with membership from various sector of the economy, to regulate apprentice-training in terms of registration of apprenticeship providers, content, duration of training programs, and certification.
Mr. Adam Samed emphasized that, the government can lead the way by implementing the apprenticeship policy for junior high schools drop-out as indicated in the 2016 educational reform. “The government together with stakeholders can together develop a program to establish and strengthen institutional collaboration and exchange program between all technical and vocational scholls and key actors in industry and review the curriculum of technical and vocational schools to make them responsive to the demands of the modern job market in Ghana and beyond”.
The seminar was facilitated by Dr. Paul Aryee, Dean of Faculty of Allied Sciences, UDS) and Mr. Ahmed Baba, Head of Industrial Art Department, T.Poly, and Mr. Ibrahim Abare of TVET, Tamale.
The students at the Tamale Islamic SHS were also taking through some arts of exhibition and how to pursue in the technical and vocational skill training.
Ramatu Adams, a student of Tamale Islamic SHS in an interviewed said, expressed her profound gratitude to NESPAG and the facilitators of the seminar.
According to her, she has always wanted to pursue her dream in the art and vocational industry but don’t know how however the NESPAG seminar has really boost her confidence.