President John Dramani Mahama on Monday tasked the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to step their counselling and guidance programme on Vocational and Technical Education.
He said the perception that Technical and Vocational Education was meant for students who were not able to make good grades to the Universities and other tertiary institutions was not tenable.
President Mahama said this when he cut the sod for infrastructural projects estimated at $124 million dollars under the Development of Skills for Industry Projects(DSIP ) for 13 Technical institutions at Ada in the Greater Accra Region.
The facility is a partnership between the Government of Ghana and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Some of the beneficiary institutions are Accra Polyclinic, Takoradi Polytechnic, Wa Technical Institute, Ada Technical Institute, Tamale Technical Institute, Kpando Technical Institute and Asuansi Technical Institute.
The rest are Akwatia Technical Institute, Nkoranza Technical Institute, Bolgatanga Technical Institute, Krobea Asante Technical Institute, Amankwakrom Technical Institute and College of Technology Education, Kumasi.
As part of their benefits, the institutions would receive facilities such as lecture theaters, classroom blocks, dormitories, Teachers bungalows, administration blocks and workshop blocks.
President Mahama said many industries and businesses such as the oil and gas sector were looking for graduates with middle level technical skills, and encouraged the students to take up such courses to enable them to get jobs after school.
He said the days higher degrees and fluency in ‘the Queens language’ were giving way to Technical and Vocational skills training, especially with the rise in infrastructural development everywhere.
The President said 1,550 students had been awarded bursaries for courses in Technical and Vocational Skills Training programmes, while 2000 others had been awarded bursaries to complete their apprentice courses in the informal sector.
President Mahama said 25 Instructors had also been awarded similar scholarships to upgrade their skills up to the Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD levels.
Professor Jane Naana Agyeman Opoku, Minister for Education challenged girls to take advantage of the programme to leverage their skills in the Technical and Vocational sectors to make them employable.
She said as part of the rebranding exercise of the Technical and Vocational programme, they would work with the Council for Vocational Education Training to expand facilities in all their educational institutions.
Ms Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Ghana’s Resident Representative of the AfDB said Africa had the potential to create jobs, and that the rolling out of Vocational and technical courses would provide governments the opportunity to boost job creation.