|The Role of Technical and Vocational Education in the Educational System in Ghana (UNEVOC, 1994, 46 p.)|
As has been mentioned earlier in this study, technical and vocational education has a low image in the eyes of Ghanaians. The solution to this problem lies in launching an extensive education campaign not only to disabuse the minds of the public, parents and guardians, the youth and the staff of educational institutions, of the low value generally placed on this type of education, but also to sensitize them to the vast opportunities available to the youth in education and training as well as employment in the technical field.
By means of the on-going educational reforms, pupils are exposed to pre-vocational and pre-technical subjects right from the Basic Education level. This early exposure to technical and vocational subjects encourages those with the aptitude to opt for technical and vocational education at the second-cycle level of education. In this way, they shed any dislike they may have for this kind of education.
To enable technical students to have a sound background in general education, the curriculum of the technical and vocational institutions has been designed to include such general subjects as English and Liberal Studies, Mathematics and Science. This is to ensure that when the technical students complete their course and enter the world of work, they will not be handicapped by a lack of liberal education, but will be well-informed about what goes on in the world around them and be able to interact with others on topical matters.
In general, workers in the private sector with technical and vocational qualifications receive higher remuneration than those with purely academic qualifications. This situation encourages more of the youth to undertake courses, and, later on employment in the technical and vocational field.
Now conditions of service in most organizations including the Civil Service, do not discriminate against employees with technical qualifications. It is therefore possible for such employees to imporve upon their qualifications through continuing education so that they may, depending upon the additional qualifications they acquire coupled with their attitude to work and other factors, rise to the highest possible positions in their respective jobs.
The existence of an Association of Principals of Technical Institutions (APTI) in the public system has helped to raise the Social status of these Principals and their institutions as well as the status of the entire technical and vocational education system. For a similar purpose, steps are being taken to form a professional association of teachers of technical and vocational subjects.
Trade associations have now been formed in certain trade areas to bring together persons practising the same trades to help them improve their lot by means of various activities, including workshops, seminars and conferences.
The cost of providing technical and vocational education and training is really enormous. In Ghana the burden of meeting this cost lies mainly on the Government. Though the Government realizes that providing quality technical and vocational education and training is an expensive venture, it also recognizes the fact that this kind of education and training cannot be dispensed with if Ghana is to progress, or even survive, as a nation in today's world. For any meaningful development of the country to go on, there must be available an adequate supply of skilled technical personnel at various levels. This will make possible the execution of programmes of industrialization, agricultural development, rural development and business promotion, all of which contribute to the socioeconomic development of any country, it is in the light of this that the Government of Ghana continues to take steps to expand and strengthen technical and vocational education and training to support the socio-economic development of the country.