The Association of Principals of Technical Institutions (APTI), has called for the establishment of a separate Ministry for technical and vocational education.
That, the association believes, was necessary to assist in developing a more coherent national policy and programmes to significantly raise the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Dr. Joseph Abeiku Apprey, President of the Association, said there was a need for a fundamental change in the nation’s approach to the TVET sector.
Addressing the 32nd conference of APTI, in Kumasi, he said efforts at equipping the youth with the relevant knowledge, expertise and skills to become self-employed must be scaled up.
The suggestion by the association follows recent calls by institutions and prominent people for reforms in the TVET sector to promote technical and vocational education to actively support economic growth.
Recently, Mr. Stephen Amponsah, Executive Director of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) called for the rebranding of TVET so as to make it attractive to the youth and utilise its job creation potentials towards addressing youth unemployment.
Also, a TVET Consultant, Dr. Henry Akplu, recently proposed that the Council of Technical Vocational Education Training (COTVET) should be placed under the Ministry of Trade and Industry so that TVET would be directly linked to industry for the gap between training and industry to be closed.
Others have also proposed the upgrade of COTVET to an authority to expand its mandate so as to ensure a well coordinated and effective TVET sector.
But the APTI is convinced that the creation of a TVET Ministry would help to address the challenges hindering the growth of the sector.
According to Mr. Apprey, “that is the way forward to tackle the growing employment among the nation’s young people, and to transform their living conditions. “
The conference had the theme, “Technical and vocational education and training reforms in the current dispensation and the way forward.”
It provided the platform for the technical institution heads to discuss issues affecting the progress of TVET and the general education system.
Dr. Apprey said it was time for Ghanaians, especially the youth, to change the negative perceptions they have about vocational and technical education, saying it holds the key to job and wealth creation.
Mr. John Alexander Ackon, Ashanti Regional Minister, reiterated the government’s determination to adequately resource the technical and vocational institutions to enable them to operate more effectively and efficiently.
TVET, he noted, played vital role in strengthening the middle level industrial man-power base of both developing and developed economies, saying the government remained committed to the sector.