The Ministry of Education has announced that the free Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiative introduced by the government has been operationalised this academic year.
Consequently, all qualified Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates who choose to pursue TVET at any government-approved senior high school (SHS), senior high technical school (SHTS) or any TVET institution will enjoy all the benefits of the free SHS initiative.
Briefing the media in Accra last Friday, the FSHS National Coordinator, William Darkwah, urged all parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards who were interested in the TVET programme were encouraged to select TVET schools if they were to do self-placement.
Also, he reminded parents to ensure that their children who chose TVET schools were encouraged to pursue the TVET programme, so they could receive all the benefits associated with the TVET sector.
Mr Darkwah said currently, 186 TVET institutions, fairly and strategically located across the country, were ready to run the free TVET system up to the Certificate II level.
He explained that all TVET-providing institutions which used to be under 19 ministries had now been re-aligned to the Ghana TVET Service under the Ministry of Education and included in this academic year's (April 2022) Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) for the JHS graduates.
A total of 571,892 candidates wrote the 2021/2022 BECE, after which 555,353 candidates qualified to pursue further education at the second-cycle level.
Out of the number who qualified, 367,811 were automatically placed in their schools of choice, leaving only 187,542 to do self-placement.
The 187,542 are expected to follow the laid down process to do the self-placement within the shortest possible time before the system is shut down or closed.
"The huge investment made by the government since 2018 attests to the importance the government attaches to the TVET sector," the FSHS Coordinator said.
Revamping the sector
On July 5, 2018, the Government of Ghana signed a contract with PC Education Africa Ventures Ghana Limited for the upgrading and modernisation of vocational education in Ghana.
That was followed by the official sod-cutting for commencement of the project at the grounds of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at East Legon on December 19, 2019 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
As part of the infrastructural project, the Head Office of the NVTI, 10 regional testing offices, 35 institutions, including the OICG Accra, five informal apprenticeship offices and 35 institutions across the country have been upgraded and retooled.
Components of the infrastructural upgrade of the institutions include classroom blocks, ICT centres, administration blocks, workshops, male and female dormitories, installation of workshop equipment and curriculum development for trainers and tutors for NVTI institutions in CBT.
Mr Darkwah mentioned some of the areas of study (trade areas in TVET institutes) in the TVET sector as Agricultural Mechanisation Technology, Building Construction Technology, Auto Body Repairs, Architectural Draughting, Wood Construction Technology, Hospitality and Catering Management, Cosmetology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electrical Machine Rewinding, General Textiles, Heavy Duty and Diesel Mechanics, Industrial Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering Craft Practice and Motor Vehicle Engineering.
The rest are Creative Art Technology, Plumbing and Gas Fitting Technology, Printing, Electronic Engineering, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanics, Small Engines Repairs, Welding and Fabrication Technology, Information Technology, Computer Hardware Technology and Technical Drawing,
The Government of President Akufo-Addo, on the assumption of office in 2017, decided to align all TVET institutions in the country.
The purpose of the alignment was to, among others, provide appropriate governance and management structure for a unified national TVET system and coordinate the curriculum, training of trainers/facilitators, linkage with industry, entry requirements, training facilities, mode of delivery, assessment, certification system and employability of graduates by synchronising all existing laws relating to skills training in the country.
It has since then put in place the various legal and other needful measures to ensure that the TVET sector becomes the first port of call for all students and parents due to the prospects in the sector, as well as the benefits the entire country stands to gain from the sector if subscribed well.