Madam Rebecca Ampa-Korsah, National Coordinator of the Network on Technical and Vocational Education (NETTVET) Wednesday said government’s handling of Technical and Vocational Education and training was not making the sector attractive to prospective students.

She said although government was taking some initiatives aimed at improving the sector, only TVET institutions under the ministry of education were currently benefitting from such initiatives, while those under other ministries were left to fend for themselves.
Speaking to the GNA at the opening ceremony of the 5th Annual General Meeting of NETTVET in Accra, Madam Ampa-Korsah bemoaned the worrying trend where TVET institutions under other ministries outside that of education were left with little or no support from government.

She noted that the situation where policies on TVET by the government and the ministry of Education focused more on schools under the ministry was a longstanding issue which had extended to the implementation of the free Senior High School, where only TVET schools under the ministry are expected to benefit from the programme at the start of implementation in the next academic year.

Government has recently initiated moves to put all TVET institutions under one umbrella in order to streamline and standardize the sector. As part of that move however, TVET institutions are required to register their institutions, accredit their courses and also accredit their teachers, all at a fee.

These institutions are thus expected to charge extra fees to cover the cost of these registrations, in addition to paying their school fees, since they will not benefit from the free SHS programme.

“How many of the SHS register their schools or accredit teachers? Who should provide tools for government schools? Is it the students, or the teachers, or the heads?” she questioned, adding that government, by this, was not making TVET attractive to students.

She noted that if government gave the TVET schools outside the ministry of education; which were larger in number than those under the ministry, the needed attention as had been given to the ministry of education schools, the sector will grow.

According her, there was currently more than 14 ministries implementing TVET Education through more than 300 schools, while the ministry of education had 50 TVET institutions.

“If they give the schools tools, retrain the teachers to handle the sector, just as they’ve for GES, then technical and vocational education will be attractive but if you leave it to the heads, to find a way of registering their schools, giving accreditation to the teachers, when their salaries cannot even take them home, they will be where they are.

“We are not getting it, we are not getting the support of government. TVET is even more expensive than the grammar school and so if you are not meeting us, not even halfway, how do you expect the youth to go into that?” she stated.

Meanwhile, Mr. David Prah, Head of Quality Assurance at the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), who represented the Executive Director as guest speaker, said government recognized the importance of TVET as a change agent for the country’s industrialisation.

He said in line with this, the process had begun for TVET institutions to be brought together under the regulation of the Ministry of Education and COTVET. They will be enjoined to use the Competency-Based Training for TVET delivery in Ghana, which will allow industry to set the standards for training; resulting in a relevant, competent and competitive workforce.

On the concerns about some TVET institutions being left out the free SHS programme, Mr. Prah stated: “the government is rolling out the free SHS with the technical and vocational institutions in mind. The only thing is that some TVET institutions have not been captured…I believe maybe next year or thereabout they will all enjoy the free SHS”.

He however urged the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and NETTVET to raise the concern with the appropriate policy makers so that it can be addressed as soon as possible.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh