The government has decided that qualification of students from technical schools to the technical universities for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses should no longer be tied to the results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
“Technical universities are not going to be allowed to continue to admit students to TVET courses with WASSCE certificates,” the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said.
He was addressing the closing ceremony of a three-day national conference on technical education in the country in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
It was on the theme: “Reinventing technical and vocational education in Ghana — From vision to action”.
The national conference The conference was attended by acting vice-chancellors of the country’s technical universities, managers of technical and vocational institutions,
the private sector and stakeholders in technical education.
It was aimed at developing consensus on pathways to effectively utilise technical and vocational education and training to support accelerated national development.
Dr Prempeh said emphasis should be on competency-based training (CBT) and not how well a person passed in the WASSCE or the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
He cited qualification for doctors in the advanced world, such as the United Kingdom, which is the ability to demonstrate that the person is capable.
“If you can do it, your professor will pass you. If you cannot do it, you will wait,” he added.
Dr Prempeh said the onus lay on the technical universities to understand the need to include persons with CBT, instead of concentrating only on academic qualifications.
He said that was how countries such as Germany, South Korea, China, Malaysia and Singapore went and were now on top of the world.
The minister explained that the intention of the government was to create an opportunity for skills and talents to be recognised, and that should be through the TVET system.
“So the government has decided to create a service just like the Ghana Education Service (GES) but for technical and vocational education,” he added.
He explained that the service was expected to be flexible enough “to transit between the rigid academic degree and the TVET degree or even within the TVET arena”.
He said the intention would be to undertake an outreach programme in basic schools to encourage pupils to develop interest in TVET.
Those who showed interest in TVET, he said, would be encouraged to eventually end up in the technical universities.
Dr Prempeh said the government had shown commitment by retooling all the technical universities and polytechnics with modern equipment, adding that it had signed a loan agreement to re-equip all public vocational and technical institutions in the country.
Additionally, he said, the government was liaising with technical universities in Finland and Germany to link them with their counterparts in Ghana to enhance and upgrade the capacities of the staff of the local technical universities.
Furthermore, he said, the government was setting up an institution that would focus on training teachers who would come out better qualified to teach in the technical
universities and the technical and vocational institutions.