Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education has said that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), is vital in addressing Ghana’s employment challenges.
He noted the Government believes that Ghana’s inability to generate knowledge and develop skills among the youth and the workforce, was a major hindrance to its industrialization agenda.
He said the strategy then had been, to expand technical and vocational opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels, and thereby strengthen the linkages between education and industry, as well as give opportunities to the youth, to deploy their skills, to employ themselves.
Dr Opoku Prempeh made these remarks in a speech read on his behalf at the 2019 National Youth Dialogue on Transformative Education in Accra.
The forum on the theme, “Achieving Transformative Education: Youth Voices, Perspectives and Aspirations”, was organised by the CSOs Coalition for Youth Development, which comprises Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), Plan International Ghana and Youth SDG Platform.
In commemoration of the 2019 International Youth Day on the theme: “Transforming Education”, CSOs and International Non -Governmental Organisations in Ghana have come together to organize a National Youth Dialogue on Transformational Education.
The dialogue seeks to sensitise youth leaders on Education policies; engage policy makers and present youth position on Transforming education including TVET in Ghana; and providing suggestions as alternative approach to Ghana’s education policy reforms.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said Ghana was positioning herself to mainstream technical and vocational education in various ways; by first launching a major campaign aimed at redeeming the misconception that technical and vocation education was inferior, and prioritised only by less endowed students.
He noted that the Ministry had also been investing in infrastructure and equipment for technical institutes, technical universities and colleges of education that specialise in TVET.
He said in addition to this, 20 state-of-the-art TVET centres were being constructed across the country to bring learners up to speed with modern trends in various TVET areas and make them more competent in their areas of study.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the Government’s One District One Factory (1D1F) project was meant to launch Ghana as a major hub for industrialisation.
“But the government believes this game changer remains meaningless if it is not supported by institutions that are primed to instill the relevant human resource skills that will sustain and grow the industries,” he added.
Mr Joseph Appiah, Business Development Manager at Plan International Ghana, said the essence of education was transformation of self and environment.
He noted that for Plan International Ghana, the core of transforming any educational system touch on a number of factors, including; providing opportunities for critical thinking through providing content that introduces new ideas and questions their own assumptions and beliefs.
Mr Appiah said ultimately such transformation should lead to having education that was relevant to the need of the country; making education accessible to more people; and paying more attention to science and technology and TVET.
Mrs Theodora W. Anti, Convenor of the CSO Coalition for Youth Development, described the National Youth Dialogue on Transformational Education as an important platform for the youth to engage policy makers and stakeholders in the education sector and share their views, perspectives and voices on education and their own education.
She noted that Education policy making and implementation was normally the preserve of experts and perhaps the experienced, but like all products, the views and perspectives of the consumers were equally as important as the expert producer.
Mrs Anti said a number of new educational policies were being rolled out in recent time in a bid to reform Ghana’s education system and improve education outcomes, however the question was “were deliberate efforts made to seek the input of young people beyond using them as pilots?