Ghana’s quest to become self-reliant hinges on quality human capital and skills development, a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Professor George Oduro has said.
According to him, deliberate efforts were, therefore, required to improve quality education at all levels, including the technical and vocational area to produce a solid workforce.
He was contributing to a panel discussion on the theme, ‘Ghana Beyond Aid: Human capital development, research and innovation’ yesterday at the New Year School and Conference (NYSC) underway at the University of Ghana in Accra.
The three-day platform for national discourse, organised by the university’s School of Continuing Education and Distance Education is on the theme, ‘Attaining Ghana Beyond Aid : Prospects and challenges’.
Professor Oduro cited a recent global education ranking that concluded that in terms of increase in enrollment in the second cycle schools, quality of education did not correspond to the feat.
He also alluded to some research that said there was a deficit in skilled workers to make a case of education to be geared towards learning and application instead of merely examination passes.
For Prof Oduro, the mass acquisition and distribution of past questions for the final year senior high school students to enable them pass the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, was a proof of the ‘examination passing’ focus of the country’s educational system that needed to be changed.
While hailing the Ghana Beyond Aid initiative and its prospects, he condemned the over politicisation of national programmes, and hoped that Ghanaians would rise above partisanship and support the actualisation of the self-reliance vision.
Without deliberate efforts to build the required human resource and allow systems to work, he said ‘the Ghana Beyond Aid will remain a political slogan’.
Taking his turn, the Vice Chancellor of Sunyani Technical University, Professor Kwadwo Adinkra-Appiah, said the country’s touted natural resources would be meaningless, if the country did not have the skilled human resource to innovate and utilise the resources to drive the Ghana Beyond Aid vision.
He called for retooling of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), science, engineering , technology and innovation, balance between theory and practical studies, and focus on various areas of industries, including automobile, agro processing and artificial intelligence.
Professor Adinkra-Appiah urged the industry to compliment government’s “commendable efforts” by creating industrial attachment and support them with machinery to build the capacity of students, so as to reduce resources spent to train them when they are employed.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR