The Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has implored stakeholders in the education sector to do whatever they could to remove all barriers that prevent the youth from doing things that will make them realize their goals.
According to him, being supportive of the youth, especially, in acquiring a skill, put them on a high pedestal to achieving great things not only for themselves but for the country as a whole.
Barriers on the path of the youth, he added, inhibit growth and have dire consequences on the Ghanaian economy.
“There is the need to remove the barriers that prevent the youth from doing impossible things. There is this case of a Visual Art student who cannot become an Engineer because the system will not allow him to do so. But it is possible for him to become an Engineer. Engineering involves a lot of drawings and if a Visual Art student can visualize and put that into drawing, then it is possible for him or her to become an Engineer”, he noted.
In trying to address the challenge of the Visual Arts student who is dreaming to become an Engineer, Dr. Adutwum said he has directed the George Grant University of Mines and Technology (UMAT) and the Pentecost University (PU) to pilot a pre-university engineering course for Arts Students.
“The feedback is positive and I believe it will work well. I must say that if we remove the barriers along the ways of young people in this country, they will do the impossible”, he stressed.
Mr. Adutwum made this observation when he outdoored the Skills Gap Analysis and Audit Findings report and the National TVET Expo and Awards 2022 in Accra on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
The three days event is under the theme ‘Building an Industrialized Ghana: The Role of TVET’
Commenting further, Dr. Adutwum noted that there is the need to have a balanced skills demand and supply in Ghana’s educational system since it is an undeniable fact that the provision of Technical and Vocational Education and Training is the panacea to the mounting unemployment among the teeming Ghanaian youth.
That notwithstanding, there is also the need to pay attention to Technical and Vocational Education and Training, especially, regarding access to affordable quality TVET; the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship; the elimination of gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable.
“In this context, TVET is expected to address the multiple demands of an economic, social, and environmental nature by helping the youth and adults develop the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, promoting equitable, inclusive, and supporting to achieve the President’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid”.
A deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical Vocational Education and Training, Gifty Twum Ampofo, also commenting on the event said the high unemployment rate among the youth is a major concern to the government, stressing that TVET is the surest way to equip the youth with employable skills.
“TVET has come to stay. The avenues are plenty as you don’t need so much capital to start your business once you complete a TVET program. The Government is making sure that all the governance structures are out in place to ensure the sustainability of TVET to create jobs for the youth. A lot of institutions are being retooled and upgraded together with the teaching staff to ensure that TVET programs thought in the various schools are standardized”, she noted.
With all the measures being put in place by the government to ensure the sustainability of TVET, Madam Twum Ampofo also urged the youth to be abreast with changes and adapt to them as well as technology evolves.
The Director-General for the Commission for Technical Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah, in his welcome address noted that the Commission is adapting to the changing trend in the global economy where skill is the order of the day.
He assured that Ghana will create a homegrown TVET system that is robust enough to deal with the challenges confronting it.
“TVET is critical for promoting a path to recovery and resilience building in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, and for accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 8 and other related SDGs in the coming years. We are taking conscious steps to make Ghana a center of excellence in TVET in West Africa and to make Ghana globally competitive within the TVET ecosystem. This commitment has clearly been shown in our quest the last 6 years to reform and revamp TVET in Ghana”, he noted.
He, therefore, called for maximum support from industry and the private sector to make that vision a reality.
Touching on the inaugural awards night, he alluded to the fact that it was not going to be a one-day event but rather, an annual one where excellence will be acknowledged.