I am happy to be with you here today as we celebrate sixty years of German-Ghanaian cooperation. Our two countries have always enjoyed a warm and cordial relationship, and I believe these bonds will be strengthened even further in the years to come.
The NPP Government led by President Akufo-Addo appreciates the fact that no country can develop and become industrialized without mainstreaming skills development. The case of many European countries led by Germany, and those of South Eastern Asia goes to buttress the critical role skills acquisition plays in any industrial revolution, and Ghana cannot be an exception.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has enormous potential for moving Ghana’s economy forward. Unfortunately, there is so much left to be done to make TVET and skills development the driving force of Ghana’s economic growth.
TVET in Ghana is delivered in either the formal or informal sectors. Formal or institutional-based TVET is delivered by both the private and public TVET Providers. Public TVET Providers are under different Ministries. In terms of enrolments and number of institutions, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Agriculture are the key ministries involved in TVET provision, and to a lesser extent, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. In addition, there is a large number of registered and unregistered private training providers. It is estimated that across public and private TVET providers, over 200 programmes are delivered to over 500,000 learners. This is a recipe for fragmentation. This affects system governance, development and coordination of TVET for efficiency, quality and relevance.
Furthermore, a huge population of young people acquire employable skills in the informal sector through apprenticeships and other forms of training. Some amount of on-the-job skills training and upgrading of employee skills also occurs in enterprises.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, key among the numerous challenges confronting TVET in Ghana are:
- Poor linkage between training institutions and industry;
- Deeply fragmented landscape and lack of coordination among multiple TVET delivery agencies;
- Multiplicity of standards, testing and certifications;
- Low quality of instruction, due to inadequate instructor training and lack of instructional support and TVET infrastructure;
- An informal TVET system that has been neglected and detached from the formal sector;
- Poor public perception of TVET which is seen as good only for the academically weak students.
Government, recognising that TVET is critical to the building of a skilled workforce for rapid agricultural, industrial, and economic transformation has decided to realign all aspects of TVET provision under the Ministry of Education in order to strengthen, improve, and revitalise the skills development sector in the country.
In the course of reorganizing our TVET, the German Dual TVET System is being considered as we fully implement Competency -Based Training (CBT).
In June 2017, I led a delegation which comprised a broad section of stakeholders to undertake a one-week study tour of Germany to learn about policies, programs, strategies and practices used in implementing the German dual system.
It came to light that, efforts made in past years in addressing the numerous challenges associated with TVET in Ghana, failed simply because industry, the ultimate consumer of the products of TVET has been alienated from training; thus leaving a mismatch between what the institutions offer and needs of industry.
I wish to touch on some of the existing programmes currently being pursued through technical and financial cooperation between our two countries. Essentially, these are hinged on three thematic areas commonly agreed as priority areas in bilateral consultations held in June 2015. A follow-up session is envisaged in mid-2018. The key areas identified were;
ii. Sustainable economic development under which skills development falls,
Our approach going forward must be to mainstream these quality parameters in our strategies for implementation. The new approach seeks to ensure that TVET will not be limited to the traditional full time student but would be open to all.
Based on this new vision for TVET provision, some decisions and actions have been outlined in the strategy for implementation. Key among these are:
- A new governance and management structure of TVET by creating a separate TVET sector under the Ministry of Education. It will also involve establishing a TVET service as an agency .
- Increasing access, and
- Improving quality
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Ghana will continue to liaise with Germany and learn useful lessons from its TVET model in an effort to promote skills development and industrialization of its economy. We are thankful to the German government for its cooperation in this endeavour.
May the bonds between our two countries continue to deepen in all endeavours of cooperation for the mutual benefit of our people.
Thank you very much for your time.