Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described career guidance as very crucial in Ghana’s education sector as sections of the youth are often been misled in making career choices.
The minister was speaking at the launch of a youth development programme by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) dubbed, “The youth of Ghana: The future we want to build for ourselves,” at Accra Academy on Tuesday.
The programme is aimed at actively involving the youth across the country to express their views on personal, community and national development over the next 40 years.
Mr. Ablakwa said in order for the country to produce graduates that would sustain and improve the economic growth of the country, they must be guided on what career to choose based on their capabilities and interests.
“Most often, parents choose careers for their children based on how well they do in a particular subject without paying attention to their passion and interest,” he stated.
But the children, he said, eventually find themselves in a profession that they have no passion for and finds it difficult to give off their best.
Touching on technical and vocational education and training, he said the perception that technical and vocational education was the preserve of those who are academically weak, was wrong and needed to change.
In other countries, he said technical and vocational graduates were the most sought after employees as they were those needed to develop the countries.
According to the Minister, in Germany for instance, “the technical and vocational experts are those driving the economy, and such must be done in Ghana.”
“Sometimes, one cannot entirely blame the educational system as the mindset of some youths does not allow them to pursue the right courses and career,” he stressed.
He also lauded the objective of NDPC’s youth programme, adding that “this is the first time in the history of Ghana that the youth is directly involved in the development plan of the country.”
The youth, he said, were very important stakeholders in the nation’s development agenda and their aspirations and contributions needed to be considered.
Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the NDPC, in his remarks, said Ghana could not afford to jeopardise its development agenda by neglecting the crucial role of the youth in achieving its aspirations.
The youth programme, he said, has targeted pupils and students in basic, secondary and tertiary schools across the country, who would be drawn to participate in various activities under the initiative.
The activities lined up by the NDPC and its partners include a “Dream Ghana Week” to be observed from September 26 to October 2 in basic and second-cycle schools to raise awareness among the youth of their vital role in shaping their own future in communities and the country.
There would also be a national essay/drawing competition from September 20 to October 3, a series of national debates as well as a national youth forum.