The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, has urged parents not to stop their wards from pursuing TVET-related courses.
She said the notion that TVET courses were for students who were not academically brilliant was one of the factors that discouraged people from studying those courses at both secondary and tertiary levels.
According to the minister, “TVET is never for the second grade individual, it is never for the people who are not smart.”
Mrs Twum-Ampofo made the appeal in an interview with the Daily Graphic when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education toured some TVET institutions in the Ashanti Region.
She explained that the investment the government was making in TVET education and the equipment bought to retool the workshops could not be left to people who were not serious to manage.
“TVET is for the people who can manage facilities concerning our lives and these are the first-class students and I am appealing to parents to encourage their children who are smart and wish to do TVET to do so.
“Teachers should also guide our young ones into TVET and by doing so, you reduce poverty to a very large extent and you also reduce youth unemployment,” she said.
According to the Deputy Minister, promoting TVET formed part of the government’s agenda of Ghana beyond aid and believed that the products from these TVET institutions would constitute the manpower for the country’s industrialisation agenda.
She said with the kind of equipment at the TVET secondary schools in the country, products from the second cycle institutions could be self-employed and even employ others with their skills.
She said the objective was to equip TVET students with the technical and entrepreneurial skills that could make them self-employed and thereby reducing the rate of employment in the country.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo was impressed with the effort of the management of the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) to increase the number of TVET students and also expand the existing infrastructure to accommodate more students.
She was, particularly, impressed with the well-equipped workshops at the university which, she said, showed the readiness of the university to train the teachers for the TVET schools.
Led by its chairman, Mr Kwabena Amankwah Asiamah, the committee visited AAMUSTED, Kwadaso Methodist Technical Institute, Kumasi Technical Institute and the Kumasi Technical University where the members were taken round the facilities of the schools.