Professor Ransford Gyampo, a Political Science Lecturer and Chairman of the TVET Advocacy Team, has said that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is the only sure way to guarantee the country’s development.
He said research has shown that 80 percent of activities and interventions that have been implemented by developed nations were found within the areas of TVET.
Prof Gyampo was speaking at a public forum organized by the Vocational Training for Females’ (VTF) Programme held at Kumasi under the theme: “Building a Solid Foundation for TVET in Ghana.”
He said “if you audit the educational system of countries like China, you will notice that it is heavily skewed within the area of TVET,” but stated that contrary to this, close to 90 percent of graduates in Ghana’s educational system were in the areas of the humanities.
“The government is touting free SHS but no one is touting free TVET. There is empirical evidence to show that the development of a nation has more to do with emphasis and focus on training the population in the area of TVET than in the area of humanities and the earlier we demand policy makers to focus on TVET, the better for us,” Prof Gyampo added.
Dr Stephen Turkson, a TVET consultant, admitted that TVET is what is needed to provide relevant future skills to meet the needs of the labour market.
He, however, stated that 13 years after the Government’s introduction of competency based training to reform the TVET educational sector, nothing had yet been achieved.
“Malaysia started their educational reform three years before Ghana, but Malaysia is now producing tools and equipment and exporting them to Germany. It is sad that we know the right things to do but we refuse to do them.”
Dr Turkson said the current unemployment situation in the country could be traced to the neglect of TVET by various governments over the years, adding that “any country that places emphasis on the liberal arts to the exclusion of TVET is by default creating unemployment among its citizenry.”
“We have labeled TVET as an area for non-achievers and failures and as such we have failed to develop that sector” he said.
He said with the wealth of natural resources Ghana has been blessed with, the country should have focused on TVET education to develop the necessary human resource to take advantage of these for national development.
Stakeholders from academia, training institutions, industry, trade associations, students and individuals who participated in the forum called for more of such opportunities, to promote dialogue and accelerate change in the TVET sector.