Regional News of 2014-06-29

‘Technical, vocational education not for academically weak students’

The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Djanmah Vanderpuye, has advised Ghanaians not to perceive technical and vocational education as programmes for students who are not academically good.

“We as a people can no longer continue with the negative stereotypes of vocational and technical education, which is key to the development of the country.”

Mr Vanderpuye made the statement at the maiden graduation ceremony of the Art Institute, one of the grantees of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) under the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), at Bubiashie in Accra. In all 23 students,both males and females, who undertook training in welding, carpentry, spraying and entrepreneurship, were presented with certificates.

Mr Vanderpuye commended the institute for ensuring that the youth, who desired to learn technical vocation, had the opportunity to explore their talents to earn a living.

“The government of Ghana is aware of its basic responsibilities of providing the necessary opportunities for the youth of the country through the development and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes for development, and also recognise the important roles of private institutions established by individuals and interested groups in this country,” he said.

Mr Vanderpuye entreated the graduates to endeavour to set up their own businesses and also demonstrate the highest level of commitment and professionalism.

He said the arts industry in different forms was a key area that needed attention considering the enormous potentials in that field, and stressed that “given the right attention, I believe the arts can provide a lot of job opportunities for our youth”.

He urged those in the industry to prepare themselves to compete on the international market.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Arts Institute, Ms Constance Swaniker, said the aim of the institute was to bridge the gap in the country’s educational system between the production of fine arts and the manufacturing of industrial parts and gadgets.

“The institute has been set up by Accents and Arts to provide students with the skills necessary to transform their ideas into useful tools,” she said.

According to her, the institute had formed alliances with a number of institutions including the Integrated Rural Art and Industry of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), Opportunities Industrialisation Centre (OIC) and the Sculpture Department of the Takoradi Polytechnic.

“We also have in the pipeline agreements with the Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC) and the Accra Polytechnic to provide their graduates with the opportunities to gain first-hand work place experience,” she said.

The SDF Manager, Mr Ato Simpson, said among other things, the objectives of the fund was to support many other businesses across the country to develop and improve the skills of their staff to boost productivity.