Koforidua — Principals of various Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions across the country last Thursday attended a day's workshop to brainstorm on how the sector can be transformed to respond to needs of industry and support the national transformation agenda.
Participants discussed ways to make TVET more competency-based to offer students a more practical hands-on training to meet the standards of skills required by industries.
The event which was organised by the Ministry of Education on the theme "The performance of the TVET sector and the preparation of an action plan," was also part of reforms to train the principals with the required skills to enable them transform the sector into a viable and vibrant sector that would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country.
In her remarks at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of TVET, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo stated that the country has reached a stage in the skill development process where TVET must be transformed to meet the needs of industry.
According to her, the transformation of the sector would also support employment creation, reduce poverty and contribute to the socio-economic agenda of the country.
"This means that we cannot afford to continue to neglect our TVET sector any longer," she said adding that the current development in the world was at the level where almost all countries were striving to achieve 21st century currency.
"This is the system where emphasis is being placed on equipping learners with the competitive skills so as to achieve the expected human capital for development," she added.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo recalled that the TVET sector had previously been confronted with a number of setbacks, including poor linkages between training institutions and industry, poor TVET Infrastructure, among others, creating a huge gap between what industry demands and the skills produced.
She stated that for the country to achieve this all important human resource, there was the need to ensure that "TVET institutions are well equipped with relevant tools, equipment and consumables, well established learning environment with good infrastructural facilities or instructors, relevant and a well-developed curriculum that meet industrial standards."
The Deputy Minister said that the government was committed to transforming the sector, hence, the workshop and other interventions like the approval of TVET Five-Year Strategic Transformation Plan by cabinet, TVET Service Bill and amendment of the COTVET Act to help transform the sector.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo, called on the principals and all stakeholders to collaborate to ensure a successful transformation of the TVET sector.
For his part, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, Mr Benjamin Kofi Gyasi, disclosed that statistics available showed that only 26 per cent of females enrolled in TVET in 2015, while 11 per cent enrolled in 2016 and 2017.
He expressed worry over the dwindling number of female students enrolling in the sector and challenged the principals to ensure that they whip up female interest in TVET.