Ghana: Let's Create Sustainable Job Opportunities for School Leavers - - Baffuor Awuah

press release

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffuor Awuah on Wednesday called for stakeholder discussions on sustainable job opportunities for the post-secondary school leavers.

Mr. Baffuor Awuah said though the preferred pathway for secondary school leavers would be further education at the tertiary level; the reality does not allow that due to the number of tertiary institutions in the country and their admitting capacity.

"Assuming the current capacity remains the same, the tertiary institutions in the country would lack the capacity to admit the secondary school leavers considering that prior to the introduction of the Free SHS policy, less than 20 per cent of SHS leavers were able to enroll in tertiary institutions," he said.

The Minster made the call yesterday in a speech read for him at the 2019 MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme Learning Summit in Accra. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme Learning summit, which started in 2014, is a ten-year partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and Camfed Ghana. The summit brings together stakeholders to discuss germane issues that will contribute to socio-economic development in Ghana.

Mr. Baffuor Awuah noted that government alone could not solve the unemployment challenges facing the youth in the country, hence, the need for organisations like Camfed Ghana and the MasterCard Foundation to support with interventions in creating employment and improving livelihoods for the youth in the country.

He said the Ministry would continue to collaborate and work with Camfed to create employment and livelihood opportunities for the youth, adding that, "the doors of the Ministry are open to Camfed and other development partners for consultations and information sharing" he said.

The National Director of Camfed, Mr. John Asibi Ali, said the 2019 learning event was expected shape policies and stimulate future research on post-secondary youth unemployment and entrepreneurship which has been overlooked over the years, adding that the summit had always brought stakeholders and interested parties together to have impactful dialogues.

Camfed over the years has been implementing the Scholars Program which seeks to support academically-gifted young women in rural communities within its operational regions. It has in the past commissioned research on issues relevant to girls education: Aspiration and gender in Ghana's junior high schools, 2014; impact of girls' clubs on the retention of girls in junior high schools in Ghana, 2015; the role of parents in influencing the aspiration, life choices and educational attainment of students and how their role is influenced by gender, 2016 and governance in public high schools in Ghana from a gender perspective.

To understand the role teacher mentors play in school and how this affects the outcome of students, CAMFED also commissioned another research on teacher mentoring in secondary schools in Ghana in 2017 and in 2018 it organized a research seminar to explore research evidence on the support systems and programmes pertaining to guidance and counseling and teacher mentoring that affects students' interest in education, academic performance and other school outcomes, and the ability of students to successfully progress through school and transit successfully into tertiary education, employment or entrepreneurship."

This year's annual learning summit was to explore research evidence on post-secondary youth employment prospects in Ghana, and was under the theme: "Supporting Young People's Livelihoods: Exploring Post- Secondary School Opportunities."

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