Computerised school selection to be reviewed

President Mahama exchanging pleasantries with the students on his arrival.

President Mahama exchanging pleasantries with the students on his arrival.

The computerised schools selection and placement system is to be reviewed as part of efforts to enhance secondary education, President John Dramani Mahama has announced.

He said the move would aim at addressing the shortfalls of the system after its 10 years in operation.

The President said this at the weekend at the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Akatsi Senior High Technical School (AKAST) in the Volta Region.

He also urged young people to take keen interest in technical and vocational training, indicating that the sector held the key to the national industrialisation agenda.

The President bemoaned the perception among Ghanaians that technical, and vocational education and training (TVET) was for the academically poor, saying the perception was wrong because the sector held vast employment opportunities for the youth.

According to him, due to the global technological advancement, TVET remained key in building a nation’s technical human resource to address the technological needs for national development, blaming the high graduate unemployment on the over-concentration on the non-technical and vocational subjects.

He said due to the poor perception about TVET, majority of students opted for the reading subjects in tertiary institutions and ended up without employment after graduation,irrespective of the fact that there was an increase in the demand for TVET graduates for the fast-growing technical industry in the country.

“This mindset must change because Ghana is changing,” he said, expressing regret that due to the inadequate number of technical experts, some of the industrial, engineering and technical jobs in the country were currently being handled by foreigners.

To provide the framework for the effective growth of the TVET sector, and to make it more attractive to the youth, President Mahama said the government had prioritised TVET in senior high schools as it offered vast skills development and jop opportunity for the youth.

“Government has been pursuing strong technical, vocational and educational training at the senior high school level. The purpose has been to equip students with the technical and professional skills needed for the world of work.

“There has been the need, however, to renew and intensify our focus on TVET at the secondary and tertiary levels of education to equip products of our educational skills with practical and technical skills,” President Mahama said.

In that regard, he urged parents to consider technical and vocation education as viable choices for their children, saying those training programmes were critical to national development.

President Mahama congratulated the school for the progress over the last 25 years, and particularly lauded the theme for the celebration, “25 years in the life of AKAST: Successes, challenges and the way forward” saying it also placed in focus the interventions of the government to continuously develop the education sector, especially TVET.

He cited that his administration’s transformational agenda, including the establishment of Community Day Senior High Schools  is aimed to improve access to secondary education across the country.

Responding to requests by the headmaster of the school, Mr. G.A S Ladzekpo, for support staff accommodation, classroom blocks, technical and vocational workshops and dormitories, President Mahama directed the Minister of Education to liaise with the Ghana Education Fund (GETFund) to find ways of assisting the school in that regard.

Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament, who also graced the occasion, congratulated the school on its achievement as one of the best technical schools in the country, and urged the teachers and students to reciprocate government’s investment in the school by ensuring quality.

Mr. Ladzekpo, in his report, indicated that the school had acquired a 10-acre land to undertake large scale agriculture production to help generate some income,to enable the school to be food-sufficient, as well as offer a  practical learning platform for agriculture students.

He called for urgent attention to the school’s accommodation problems, saying out of the 127 teaching and non-teaching staff, only two had accommodation on campus, making student management difficult.

From Edmund Mingle, Akatsi

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