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TVET: Solution to youth unemployment

BY: Patrick Twumasi
Dr Adutwum teaching some schoolchildren Mathematics
Dr Adutwum teaching some schoolchildren Mathematics

The current Free Senior High School (Free SHS) confirms the belief that the development of the individual, and for that matter the nation, rests squarely on a highly literate society.

Therefore, any form of education deserves critical attention.

However, investment and injection of funding have gone into grammar education to the neglect of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Nevertheless, TVET has large constituents requiring attention to develop it.

It has the potential to transform the economy, and offer employment for the teeming unemployed youth.

The Ministries of Education, Employment and Labour Relations, Youth and Sports and Food and Agriculture are the key government institutions with the responsibility of growing that segment of education.

There are other ministries that support TVET as well, and they are the Trade and Industry, Gender and Social Protection, Transport, Lands and Natural Resources.

To revamp and restructure TVET, to ensure quality standards, there is the need for the sector to be placed under a single entity, Technical and Vocational Education Service, to bring about the necessary transformation.

Rational

The restructuring and realisation of the needed investment for TVET is dependent on a single umbrella institution regulating programmes and activities.

As stated above, a Technical and Vocational Education Service (TVES) will do away with the poor linkage between institutions and industry, while coordinate among multiple TVET delivering agencies.

The multiplicity of standards, testing and certification systems that exist now are not bringing about the desired quality, creating a discord between what human resource the industry wants and what the training institutions are offering their students. Hence, the streamlining of the sector.

Despite the above, TVET requires three types of qualifications, technical and teaching qualifications and industry experience.

Therefore, an organised body will ensure such qualifications are acquired by any person who desires to venture into this part of education, either in a training or teaching capacity.

Again, Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) Act 2006, Act 718 enacted to enable TVET education, unfortunately, has resulted in the uncoordinated training and fragmented standards under different ministries, with conflicting laws and legislative instruments not making COTVET as effective and efficient as expected.

Therefore, this requires reorganisation for the proper regulation of TVET in Ghana.

Reform

The current dispensation aims at the alignment of TVET to be supervised by the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The arrangement would promote effective and efficient management, coordination and cohesion of training institutions, thereby sanitising the whole TVET landscape.

TVET is identified as an enabler and an economic game-changer in Ghana's quest for development.

Hence, it is incumbent for the government to organise TVET in a well-regulated environment to raise standards.

The reorganisation and realignment will improve productivity competencies and competitiveness of graduates on the job market.

Outcome

The reform undertaken by the MoE will not only improve the fortunes of TVET but bring about proper regulation, effective management, coordination and cohesion in training institutions for a better overall output of the trainers and trainees.

In the scheme of such alignment, under a particular and an identifiable entity, investment to improve on the obsolete and sub-standard tools will receive the consideration it deserves.

Over 400 non-tertiary TVET institutions, under different agencies and ministries, 180 private institutions and a large informal sector apprenticeship system, of which over 400,000 people are estimated to be operating, requires nothing but a regulated environment.

It will lead to targeted, demand-driven and research-oriented TVET in the country.

The writer is Head, Public Relations, Non-Formal Education Division of Ministry of Education,

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