Government has unveiled huge investments being made into technical and vocational education training (TVET) in the country.
On Monday, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia broke the grounds for work to commence on the first phase of the 32 state-of-the-art TVET centres being constructed across the country.
Phase one comes at a cost of €158 million (€158,901,273), and is expected to be completed in the next 24 months.
The ceremony was held at Abrankese in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region.
Yesterday, Dr Bawumia commissioned the TVET Service headquarters and Applied Technology Institute in Accra as part of efforts to upgrade and modernise TVET education.
The facilities were constructed for more than $131.65 million and comprised administration blocks, classroom blocks, ICT centres and workshop equipment, as well as male and female dormitories.
Additionally, the Vice-President handed over 64 vehicles comprising 37 buses, 21 double cabin pick-ups, three Toyota Fortuner, two tractors and one Toyota V8 Landcruiser.
The 32 state-of-the-art TVET institutions are aimed at increasing the employment rate of the youth in Ghana through the provision of skills training, especially in the rural areas.
It will also expand equitable access to public TVET institutions, targeting females and the rural poor, and equipping the youth with entrepreneurial skills.
Again, the centres will help retrain current workers who have skill gaps and imbibe in master craftsmen the aptitude for productivity and credibility.
It will comprise one TVET centre of excellence, 16 Category A centres and 15 Category B centres.
Variety of infrastructure
All these institutions will be provided with a variety of infrastructure, including administration blocks, accommodation facilities and common areas, playing grounds, furniture, fittings and external works, tools and equipment for workshops, as well as information and communications technology (ICT) equipment.
First phase beneficiaries
The institutions under the first phase are made up of nine centres and will be located at Abrankese in Ashanti, Akyem-Awisa in Eastern, Boako in Western North, Kenyasi in Ahafo, Patuda in Bono East, Dambai in Oti, Salaga in Savannah, Guabuliga in the North-East and Tolibri in the Upper West Region.
Dr Bawumia described TVET as a key catalyst to spur Ghana’s industrialisation and create decent job opportunities for the citizens of this country.
For sustainable development to take place, there is the urgent need to pay attention to training and make available to the industry highly skilled human resources to serve as the drivers of the economy, he said.
“In addition to the reforms and upgrade of infrastructure, the government is establishing Sector Skills Bodies to focus on exploration of business opportunities, innovation and capacity needs within the TVET sectors,” he stated.
The Vice-President said this would help to improve the role of industry in the government’s skill development agenda.
Dr Bawumia commissions TVET headquarters, hands over vehicles
Dr Bawumia, speaking at the hand-over ceremony, said the facilities and the vehicles were the largest investment the government had made in the history of TVET education in Ghana, and an indication of its commitment to transform the sector.
He said the government was making steady progress in bringing technical and vocational education to the front burner of the educational strata, noting that the provision of TVET service is the panacea to curbing the youth unemployment in Ghana.
“It is against this background that we need to have balanced skills demand and supply in our educational system, especially in our part of the globe,” Dr Bawumia added.
The government signed a contract with the Planet One Group for the upgrading and modernisation of the vocational education system in Ghana.
In view of that, several other initiatives have been undertaken by the government in giving greater emphasis and impetus to TVET education in Ghana.
Those efforts and initiatives, the Vice-President said, had begun yielding some remarkable results unparallel in the history of the country, at least for the past three decades.
34 NVTI interventions
He said over the past six years, some of the interventions made in the TVET sector were the upgrading and modernisation of all the erstwhile 34 National Vocational and Technical Institutes (NVTI), upgrading and modernisation of head offices together with 10 regional offices, upgrading and modernisation of five apprenticeship offices across the country, and upgrading and modernisation of the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre in Accra, comprising the construction, rehabilitation and equipping of laboratories, workshops, additional classrooms, hostels, administration blocks, two new foundries and machining centres – one in CSIR (Accra) and the other at KNUST, Kumasi.
In addition, there are new workshops (computer, electrical, electronic, building construction, mechanical), rehabilitation of buildings in two technical institutes (Abetifi and Don Bosco) and four senior high technical schools (Kyebi SHTS, Dagbon State SHTS, St George’s SHTS and GSTS), the construction of five new district TVET centres of excellence ongoing, with that of Anyinam and Pakyi No Two are near completion, while Assin Jakai in the Central Region, Akomadan and Manso Abore in the Ashanti Region will start soon.
Also, the government has completed and inaugurated the rehabilitation and upgrading of 10 technical universities and 13 technical institutes, which include the construction of new workshops/laboratories and supply and installation of equipment fit for disciplines in electrical and electronics engineering, welding technology, automotive maintenance, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering, Dr Bawumia said.
He urged the management and staff of the Ghana TVET Service to serve as an example in the area of maintenance of these facilities for other institutions to emulate.
Dr Bawumia assured that the government will extend the provision of more infrastructure to the other institutions,.
The management of the Ghana TVET Service, in collaboration with the sector ministry, is planning to construct three TVET incubation centres and 10 state-of-the-art TVET institutions across the country to serve as a final polishing phase for TVET graduates’ transition onto the job market.
These will be the first-ever TVET incubation centres to be established in the country.
45,000 students in programmes
Those investments, the Vice-President said, had resulted in a record-breaking enrolment of over 45,000 students in various programmes in TVET institutions across the country.
Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, said investing in state-of-the-art facilities and centre of excellencies “is a must have” for any serious nation and commended the government for taking such initiative in TVET.
According to the Education Minister, it was time Ghanaians turned around the fortunes of the country using TVET and technology for development.
The Director-General, Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, said the government had created innovative programmes and projects in the education sector, which contribute to reforming and strengthening the educational system.
The Planet One Group, a consortium developing and executing projects in education, is partnering to champion the project.
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