The Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh has iterated government’s commitment to supporting technical and vocational education and training across the country.
Provision of equipment and funds to the National Vocational Training Institute among other things he explained are in place to help with the smooth operation of the 34 vocational training institutions dotted across the country and the training over four thousands students.
Speaking at the 48th anniversary celebration of the institute under the theme; “Promoting TVET to provide solutions to Ghana’s unemployment challenges: The role of NVTI”, Mr. Opoku Prempeh said the importance of the arts to the socio-economic development of the country is guaranteed under the Akufo-Addo government.
According to him, as stated in the 2016 manifesto of the governing New Patriotic party (NPP), special policies outlined will be implemented to ensure a total transformation of the institute to the entire country’s benefit.
“We all know that, the countries in the last two decades, that have survived unemployment, economic hardship, understood the importance of TVET. Countries such as Germany, Austria, South Korea, China, Brazil, Turkey all did that, so the NPP in opposition, in writing their manifesto made room for that”.
“After our recent cabinet meeting, it was decided that never again was the country going to have TVET institutions scattered all over, and that was the reason it was all combined, removed from the various ministries and placed under education,” he revealed.
Currently, government is seeking to contract three loans specifically to improve the equipment, curriculum and capacity of TVET.
In the polytechnics and technical universities area, government has sourced two loans, one to help re-equip all these institutions, providing them with the needed equipment to better train the students.
Government has again approved another loan by the China Exim Bank that will also improve the fitting of thirteen Technical Institutions and some Technical Universities. It is a one hundred and nineteen million dollars ($119,000,000) loan.
Government has also decided to re-equip all the 34 centers. The headquarters of the NVTI is also going to be massively renovated and the head office which was started in 1974, will finally be completed.
“All these plans are in the pipe line and we are confident that in two years the NVTI will have the do-over it desperately needs to be able to provide quality TVET skills and services that are demand-driven and can contribute to the social and economic development of the country.”
On her part, the Executive Director for the National Vocational Training Institute, Mawusi Awity lauded government’s announcement to include technical schools on the free SHS policy.
According to her, it was an initiative that will be absolutely embraced by the schools as more students can be free of the burden of supporting themselves.
“Unemployment situation, especially among the youth is becoming increasingly alarming. Among the trainers however, this can be curbed by providing start up capitals for them to start their own businesses or to expand already established ones to meet social demands,” she said.
She was positive that, “ If our trainers are given the necessary assistance and put in a position to expand their business it is our hope that they will help bridge the unemployment gap.”
She asserted “from the stuff displayed,” that “it is obvious that our trainers have the ability to help in the country’s development and with the introduction of the free SHS, more students can now enroll to receive training in various fields to support in nation building.”
The 48th anniversary celebration graced by the Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister For Education, Barbara Ayisi, representatives from the Canadian and German embassy and other dignitaries from the presidency.