The Vice-Chancellor of the Kumasi Technical University, Professor Osei-Wusu Achaw, has blamed Ghana's economic woes on the lack of a vibrant technical, vocational education and training (TVET) in the country's education system.
He said the educational system handed down by the colonial masters was not development-driven but to "make us perpetually dependent on them."
"Ghana's education system, over many years, perhaps until recently, has been academic track education based.
"At all levels of our educational system, from primary through secondary education to the tertiary level, the many institutions scattered across the country have focused on the mastery and delivery of knowledge on varied subjects.
"This effort has produced the outcomes that we are all witnesses to today, namely many graduates who can talk and debate but who are severely constrained when it comes to practical performance," Prof. Achaw said at the launch of the centenary anniversary of the Mampong Technical College of Education at Asante Mampong.
It was on the theme, "The role of technical/vocational education and training in the national development agenda,” with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo expected to grace the climax of the celebration in November this year.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Dean of International Affairs and Institutional Linkage, Prof. Gabriel Dwomoh, the Vice-Chancellor commended the government for initiating moves to change the narrative with a focus on TVET education.
He said establishing a number of TVET institutions across the country, the education ministry must first work on the mindset of students to understand that TVET education was not for failures or dropouts but rather the way to go.
Comparing Ghana and other Southeast Asian countries, he said Ghana persisted with the mindset and academic track education it inherited and that served the colonial interests and not necessarily the industrial and economic interest of the newly independent country.
"Nowhere was this mindset and attitudes more manifested than our attitude towards TVET education. TVET education was regarded as for the not the academically endowed.
Prof. Achaw said it was not late to redesign and restructure the educational system into a development-oriented one on the path of steady growth.
The Principal of the College, Doris Boakye-Ansah, paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers and past principals of the college for sustaining the principles on which the college was established.
She called for support, especially from the government in helping complete some projects in the college.
The Nifahene of the Ejura Traditional Council, Nana Osei Kwadwo Ansebie, urged the school's alumni to contribute towards the auditorium project and assist in various ways to make the celebration a success.
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