The Minister of Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum, last Tuesday inaugurated a 12-member Ghana Skills Development Fund (GSDF) committee, charging it to ensure sustainable funding to support technical, vocational education and training (TVET).
The committee is chaired by Kwasi Afrani Asamoah-Baffour, with the other members being Nana Wereko-Ampim Opoku, Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, Dr Eric Nkansah, Dr Antoinette Cecilia Tsiboe-Darko, Appiah Kusi Adomako, Dr James Asare-Adjei.
The rest are Alhaji Yusif Amadu, Barbara Kukuwaa Ghansah, Yvonne Quansah, Emma Ofori Agyemang, Kwamena E. Quaison and Kosi A. Yankey-Ayeh.
Inaugurating the committee, Dr Adutwum noted that one critical area for skills development was TVET financing, which had been one of the major challenges in the country.
He said the government, in an effort to mitigate the challenge had, with the support of the World Bank, established the GSDF to ensure sustainable sources of funding for TVET.
According to him, the establishment of the GSDF was rooted in Par II of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023) as one of the standing committees.
“We all know the importance of TVET. We know how important it is to create jobs.
“Many times we lose sight of the fact that when the students come to us, we are not preparing them to pass an exam but to secure jobs and invariably, we are talking about high school and technical schools level.
“Majority of them don’t need to go and create a job, so it is important for us to look at companies that we can support to create opportunities to expand their businesses to absorb some of these students,” the minister said.
He said that was why “it is so critical for us to begin to look at our internship programmes and how that then translates into jobs,” adding that
“As we embark on this adventure by proving grants and other opportunities, I will employ you to look at the companies you will consider; how are they going to create jobs , how many jobs will they create as a result of the assistance they are getting”.
The Terms of Reference for the committee, he said, included the establishment of detailed policy and plan for the dissemination of information regarding the procedures and operation of the GSDF, ensuring that all potential target audiences have access to the required information.
For his part, Mr Asamoah-Baffour applauded government’s focus on the relevance and significance of TVET education.
“The need for improved employment is seen as pressing by the government and other stakeholders. TVET is the means to support the country’s medium and long term targets for human capital development crucial for achieving not only the sustainable development goals but also economic goals,” he said.
Throwing more light on the committee, the Director-General of the Commission for TVET, Dr Asamoah, said the inauguration of the SDF Committee was in fulfillment of the government promise in the five-year strategic plan to make sure that there was sustainable funding to support TVET.
He said the committee would be charged to make sure that there would be enough funding to support TVET.