|The Role of Technical and Vocational Education in the Educational System in Ghana (UNEVOC, 1994, 46 p.)|
In Ghana, as in other developing countries, employment in the informal sector outstrips that in the modern sector. Training in this sector is important and needs to be well-thought out and streamlined.
Traditional apprenticeship is the main method of training workers in this sector. In addition to their attachment to a craftsman's workshop, the apprentices undertake part-time courses in technical and vocational institutions to supplement their practical training.
Training for the Informal Sector
The Government has realized that it is the informal sector that can really contribute to the growth of the economy, and so it gives this sector the needed support. Accordingly, with the assistance of the World Bank, the Government has initiated training programmes in some selected trade areas for apprentices as well as master craftsmen in the informal sector to help them improve upon their performances. For example, the Ministry of Education, has embarked on a Transport Rehabilitation Project for master crafstmen and apprentices in the informal sector in various trades in the motor vehicle field.
a) Under this Project, a series of short intensive courses are being run by some selected public technical institutions for selected master craftsmen and apprentices who are members of the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG).
b) A competency-based teraching/learning approach is being used throughout the course. This method makes it possible to teach both literate and illiterate persons in the same workshop as well as classroom. Indeed, a few illiterates have been atending the course.
c) The duration of the course for the master craftsmen is 6 weeks, while that for the apprentices is 12 weeks. At the end of their training, each apprentice is given a set of tools to enable him start work on his or her own.
In addition to the above assistance from the World Bank, another support for a project dubbed "Vocational Skills And Informal Sector Project" is being vigorously pursued by the Ministry of Education for the benefit of master craftsmen and apprentices in the following five priority self-employable trade areas:
a) Refrigeration and Air-conditioning
b) Electrical Installation
c) Tailoring and Dressmaking
d) Blockwork and Concreting
e) Carpentry and joinery
In the case of this Project, the master craftsmen will be given a 2-week intensive course in modern technology in their respective trade areas. These courses for the craftsmen are designed to help them improve upon their performance as well as to be better trainers.
A 12-week training programme wil be run for apprentices whose masters will benefit from the 2-week intensive training to instil in them good work habits and impart to them technologies which they would not otherwise acquire. The courses will be run by 40 selected private and public technical institutions in various parts of the country.
a) Basic elements of entrepreneurship are included in the programmes for both the apprentices and the master craftsmen. At the end of their training, each apprentice will be supplied with a set of tools to enable him or her start work on his or her own.
b) A competency-based teaching/learning method will be used in the delivery of technical and vocational education and training to both master craftsmen and apprentices who may be selected for courses/programmes under this Project.
c) Selection of the master craftsmen and apprentices will be done through their respective trade associations.
The Technical and Vocational Education Division of the Ghana Education Service intends to revive the use of well-equipped "mobile workshop" vans and other resources of the technical institutions to provide further training to both apprentices and master craftsmen already engaged in the informal sector. This system of training by the use of "mobile workshop" vans was operated by one of the Technical Institutes in Ghana for a few years, but it is now proposed to extend it to other technical institutions in the country.