The government has invested $1 billion in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) infrastructure over the last four years.
Among other things, the investment was channeled into the expansion of infrastructure and the provision of modern equipment for the technical universities, upgrading of 34 National Vocational Training Institutions (NVTIs), creation of skills development centres and training of instructors.
The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of TVET, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a national forum on the government’s TVET transformation agenda in Accra last Friday, said the investment in TVET was a long-term measure to produce skilled human resource for Ghana’s development.
It was also part of measures to tackle youth unemployment, she said.
The government invested the funds with the support of its development partners.
Areas of investment
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said the $1 billion investment in TVET was channeled into the upgrading of 34 NVTIs, the building of modern TVET laboratories in 17 technical schools and TVET institutions and the retooling of all the 10 technical universities in the country with modern equipment.
“We are talking about industrial equipment and it has helped to foster collaboration between industry and academia because industry players do not have some machines so they collaborate with institutions to facilitate their work,” she said.
Additionally, she said, the Appiah Menka Skills Development and Entrepreneurship University had been established in the Ashanti Region to be a centre for capacity building and training of skilled people who could be globally competitive.
The Deputy Minister of Education said there was evidence that investment in TVET over the past four years had started yielding positive results, as many young people were now opting for skills-related courses.
“When I got to the Ministry of Education in 2019, students writing the final examination in technical programmes were 17,000, but those who just completed school this year were over 24,000.
“This is an indication that many young people are becoming aware of the importance of TVET,” she said.
Future of TVET
Mrs Twum-Ampofo observed that the future of TVET was exciting because skilled people would play a key role in the government’s agenda to industrialise and move Ghana beyond aid.
For instance, with the government seeking to bridge the country’s two million housing deficit, it was quite clear that people who had acquired skills in the building and construction sector would be the go-to people to execute projects, she explained.
The deputy minister, however, called on young people who were into TVET to change their mindsets and build positive attitudes that would help them excel in that area.
“TVET people must change their attitude and be aware that whatever they do, they must be committed and responsive to time because TVET is all about meeting deadlines,” she said.
Speaking at the forum, the Director-General of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, described the government’s investment in TVET as revolutionary, as it had ensured the provision of the infrastructure and equipment needed for skills training.
Again, he said, the move had helped to lay a solid foundation for developing the technical human resource needed for national development.
Dr Asamoah said the decision to move all TVET institutions under the Ministry of Education had made it easier to coordinate those institutions for their proper functioning, as there were reliable data for policy formulation.
He observed that the $200-million jobs and skills project that became operational this year was a major boost to the country’s TVET value chain.