Set up fund to support more girls to go into TVET – Dabokpa Principal to govt

BY: Samuel Duodu
A female student exhibiting her skills in carpentry
A female student exhibiting her skills in carpentry

The Principal of Dabokpa Technical Institute (DTI) in the Tamale metropolis, Madam Mariama Mahama has called on the government to consider setting up a national female vocational fund as a way to support more females to take part in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) in the country.

She said this apart from whipping up the interest of girls in taken up TVET it would also bridge the gender gap between males and female in technical education as well as empower more girls to venture into male-dominated jobs.

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She made the call at a forum organised at the institute in Tamale by Songtaba, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) into the promotion of girls and women's right and empowerment on Friday, November 16, 2018.

The forum was to create opportunities for girls in economic empowerment through technical and vocational education in Ghana under the Girls Advocacy Alliance Project (GAA).

Madam Mariama Mahama in addressing the students

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Madam Mariama Mahama in addressing the students

The GAA is a multi-country project implemented in Ghana by an alliance team consisting of PLAN international, Ghana, DC, Ghana National Coalition on the rights of children.

Madam Mariama speaking at the forum said statistics available indicated that from 2013-2018, there has been a consistently higher enrolment of males than females in the technical and vocational institutions which is making females lack behind in terms of vocational and technical professions.

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She said, less than 20 percent of females participate in TVET out of the almost 29.6million population.

Madam Mariama added that some challenges resulting in the low enrollment included cultural and cross-cultural social norms and traditions by which the subservient status of women is maintained and this creates a barrier for women participation in education.

A female student demonstrating her skills on Automotive engineering

A female student demonstrating her skills on Automotive engineering

Madam Mahama stated further that, perceived differences in males and females roles and capabilities, inculcated through socialization in homes, families, schools had also contributed largely to the low enrollment.

She said low perception about TVET has affected TVET education to the large extent of key players with success stories in TVET industry do not ascribe to their children taken up Technical and vocational education as a career option.

She urged people to stop thinking that females are technologically ignorant and unable to absorb scientific and technological information or to acquire technological skills and also desist from thinking that TVET is masculine.

She said if more attention is given to (TVET), people will realise personal employment initiatives which will put citizens in a better position to support government by means of paying taxes and voluntary donations to support developmental projects.

New courses

Madam Mariama announced that some new courses including aviation school- air traffic signalling, freight forwarding, ticketing and reservations, agricultural sciences- animal and crop sciences, driving school were going to be introduced into the school and urged females to take advantage of these new courses to empower themselves and create job opportunities as well.

Female students who participated in the forum

She added that stakeholders should prioritize and ensure access of quality education for girls and women and also remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation and also ensure all gender stereotyping in education should be eliminated.

The Executive Director of Songtaba, Madam Lamnatu Adam, on her part said the way forward to development is to possess skills which will help in the creation of self-employment.

She advised society to desist from the habit of marrying off females and girls to men because they have the right to live responsible lives as well and can also contribute to the development of the nation.

She commended girls in vocational and technical institutions undertaking various courses to work hard and take up their courses serious and also ask more girls to consider TVET as a major career option.

She said they will continue to support and fight for the good cause and active participation of girls and women in education for their economic empowerment and development.