|The Role of Technical and Vocational Education in the Educational System in Ghana (UNEVOC, 1994, 46 p.)|
Close ties with industry and business are the distinguishing characteristics of technical and vocational education. These ties should affect all aspects of the work of technical and vocational institutions, including the courses, syllabuses, staffing and equipment,
In Ghana the importance of these links is recognized by the Ghana Education Service. Consequently, on the recommendation of the Ghana Education Service, the technical and vocational institutions have adequate representation of industrial interests on their governing bodies and some of them have set up course advisory committees with representatives from industry and business, among others.
To ensure that the content of courses run in the technical and vocational institutions are relevant to the needs of industry and business and so can meet the changing demands of the labour market, industry and business are involved in the development of courses and related activities at the institutions in the public sector. Accordingly, the course advisory committees advise on the content of courses, relating it closely to the needs of industry and business,
Some heads of technical and vocational institutions foster goods relationships by encouraging the local firms to use institutional premises for exhibitions, talks, etc. during open days, representatives of industry and business are encouraged to come into the institutions to see their facilities and interact with staff and students. Reciprocally, visits to industries by staff and students of the institutions are arranged from time to time. Specialists are invited from industry to give talks to student in the technical and vocational institutions.
In the area of continuing education, the institutions make provision for workers in industry and business to attend classes on part-time or bloc-release basis to update and upgrade themselves and hence improve upon their qualifications.
The value of attachment of both staff and students to industrial business establishments is recognized by the technical institutions, and so they try, with varying degrees of success, to attach their staff and students to such establishments. Industrial Liaison Officers have been appointed in the technical institutions to see to the arrangement of these attachments, among other things,
Arrangements are in progress for the technical and vocational institutions to use simplified form of tracer studies and other items of information from the labour market, under the direction of their Industrial Liaison Officers, to assess the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of their courses. By using Labour Market Information (LMI), they will be able to appraise and review their programmes. The LMI will also enable the technical and vocational institutions to know which courses are in demand and what to include in their syllabuses.
The syllabuses for the various courses run in the technical institutions under the administration of the Ghana Education Service are reviewed every three to five years to bring them in line with educational requirements and with modern developments in the trade areas in industry and business and the employment market.
In this connection, institutions are encouraged and supported to offer bridging courses each year for capable and desirous adults who wish to follow trades courses/programmes but do not have the requisite entry requirements.
It has been found necessary to encourage, motivate and assist pupils to stay in school to complete at least their Basic Education so as to minimize the number of adults who may need Adult Basic Education in the future.
Every effort is being made to encourage and support the Technical Institutes, Polytechnics, Universities and other institutions of higher learning which are engaged in relevant continuing educational activities/programmes not only to strengthen their activities but also to diversify them.