TVET holds key to economic transformation – President declares

President Akufo-Addo being assisted by the School authorities and other guests to cut the anniversary cake

President Akufo-Addo being assisted by the School authorities and other guests to cut the anniversary cake

PRESIDENT Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday affirmed that government has embarked on concrete steps towards dispelling the misconception that technical education is inferior and patronised only by financially or intellectually less endowed students.

He was speaking at a grand durbar to climax the 50 years anniversary of the Ho Technical University (HTU) under the theme: ‘Consolidating the gains of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Ghana – HTU@50.

President Akufo-Addo who was the guest of honour insisted that technical education and vocational training held the key to transforming Ghana’s economy and reducing unemployment.

He noted that enough lip service had been paid to the TVET sector, for which reason government had initiated a number of policy measures to improve its coordination and enhance the effectiveness of the operations of the training institutions.

For instance, the President said that government had aligned and brought all public TVET institutions under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education to streamline their curricula and improve the harmonisation of the training.

Furthermore, the five-year strategic plan for TVET approved by cabinet, had set out certain structural reforms, such as setting up a TVET service and TVET Council, while dedicating a whole division of the education service to the management of technical and vocational education, said Nana Akufo-Addo.

In addition, he said that government was committed to constructing 20 modern TVET institutions across the country in addition to the existing 35.

Touching on the theme, President Akufo-Addo said that it was most appropriate and relevant to the contemporary needs of the country, adding that “undoubtedly, flagship programmes like the One-District-One Factory initiative meant to industrialise our nation can only be realised successfully with the availability of the requisite and human resource skills, which institutions like the Ho Technical University are meant to provide”.

He agreed that Ghana had fallen far short of the development potential that looked possible 61 years ago at the time of independence and cited countries like Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea which became independent at about the same time, and had outstripped Ghana in terms of development.

“They did so because they made a fundamental decision to transform their economies to value-added industrial economies and it is the same transformation that we must engineer,” Nana Akufo-Addo pointed out.

In that regard, Nana Akufo-Addo re-affirmed government’s steadfast dedication to initiating policies and programmes in the technical universities, colleges of education and universities to enhance the capacity of graduates from the tertiary institutions to contribute to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

He paid glowing tribute to the authorities of the university and the alumni for taking the bold initiative of funding the construction of the entrance gate named Jubilee Gate, saying it was befitting to the status of HTU.

“This self-help spirit is worthy of emulation by all Ghanaians,” the President added.

Earlier, Professor Emmanuel Kojo Sakyi, Interim Vice Chancellor of HTU said that the evolution and transition of the institution from the institute/polytechnic era to the technical university era was championed and supported by selfless and hardworking individuals whose determination, commitment and sacrifices had contributed to the growth and development of the university.

He appealed to government to step in to ensure the reactivation and completion of the decade-old GETFund projects on the campus, saying that would definitely help to curb the mass exodus of lecturers from the HTU to the traditional universities and put the university in a better position to admit the first batch free SHS graduates.

Professor Sakyi said that the HTU had five faculties, two schools, one institute, 18 departments, three centres and 18 academic and non-academic units with 260 lecturers and 233 supporting staff.

Professor Emmanuel James Flolu, Chairman of Council of HTU, stated that the university upheld academic excellence and integrity, scholarship, entrepreneurial skill initiatives and innovations necessary for addressing societal problems, academic freedom, respect for authority and peers which were the ingredients that underpinned a peaceful learning environment.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

 

 

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