A memorial forum in honour of Comfort Ntiamoa-Mensah, founder of Vocational Training for Females (VTF) in Accra, has been held for her unyielding advocacy resulting in the establishment of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
The ceremony, which was attended by the bereaved family of the founder of VTF and management of the institution, was used to pray to God to bless her soul.
Additionally, the occasion was used to launch the Comfort Ntiamoa- Mensah Foundation to assist needy students who aspire to have a career in the vocational education system and to educate women and girls on health issues.
Speaking on the topic “Building a solid foundation for TVET in Ghana – A situational Analysis,” Professor Anuamah-Mensah, former Vice Chancellor, University of Education, Winneba, said there was the need to solve the unemployment problem facing the country.
He lamented that about 270,000 graduates were produced yearly, who had high hope of finding jobs in the formal sector, yet they had remained unemployed and no one was really paying attention to this problem.
Prof . Anuamah-Mensah, advised that TVET should be the centre of education in the country, adding that the current education system was not helping the youth as there was nothing to do after school, which could cause an increased number of the unemployed in the country.
The Executive Director of COTVET, Mr. Sebastian Deh, mentioned that the negative perception the general public had towards vocational education in the country had made it difficult for the youth to patronise its skills training.
He observed that vocational education was considered as “difficult, dirty , dangerous and for dropouts and they only acquire the skills to repair cars, and provide services in homes”.
Mr. Deh said that the informal sector had become a tool for reducing unemployment around the globe.
He said Ghana had not defined the concept of learning though learning could be done outside the classroom.
The Executive Director mentioned resource allocation, weakness in TVET governance and administration and funding as challenges facing the vocational training sector.
He stated that the main desire of TVET was to eradicate poverty through economic growth and to help people move from school into the industry.
The Executive Director of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), Mr. Stephen Amponsah, said Ghana’s vocational sector had been put under the formal educational system, which had affected its contribution to socio-economic development.
He appealed to government to reform TVET to be able to find solution to the unemployment problem in the country.
By Benedicta Folley & Antoinette Deku