Technical universities have been urged to develop curricula tailored to current labor market trends to facilitate Ghana’s industrialized agenda.
“Ghana as a nation cannot develop without well-equipped technical and vocational institutions,” said Professor Abednego Amartey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) at the 21st Accra Technical University (ATU) congregation.
The ceremony, which is the second session this year, saw 3,109 graduates including 2,636 Higher National Diploma holders, 244 diploma holders and 229 graduates from the Military Academy and Armed Forces Training Schools from Ghana.
Professor Amartey said the ability of technical universities to imbue students with the required technical knowledge and skills would ensure that the future workforce would be productive.
He said the unemployment problem had worsened as millions of graduates from higher education institutions remained unemployed due to lack of necessary job skills.
“These vocational skills can be provided through technical and vocational education that
is clearly the key to creating sustainable jobs in Ghana,” he said.
Professor Amartey urged technical universities to focus on their core mandate of educating young people to develop technical skills and competencies to fuel industrial operations for the development and growth of the country.
He called for the inclusion of entrepreneurial skills in the curriculum of technical universities to enable students to explore the possibility of self-employment from school.
Professor Amartey encouraged technical universities to also equip students with soft skills to enable them to develop skills in communication, leadership, teamwork, time management, conflict resolution, crisis management, which were invaluable in a rapidly changing world.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, said technical education was a government priority and that it would continue to invest heavily in the sector to ensure it delivered on its mandate.
He said the government sees technical education as the driving force for sustainable development and will not relax its efforts to support educational training that provides knowledge and skills for job opportunities for the youth in large numbers.
“The government understands the vital role technical and vocational education plays in the development of every country and is committed to providing equitable access to quality TVET for all,” he added.
Dr. Adutwum said that the country cannot develop without increasing the gross enrollment ratio of the education sector.
“That’s why we need everyone to support free high school to give the majority of people in rural areas the opportunity to go to school to discover their talents,” he said.
ATU Vice Chancellor Professor Samuel Nii Odai said seven of the 27 programs had received accreditation and were ongoing.
They included accounting and financial analysis, cybersecurity, electrical and electronic engineering, medical laboratory science, and water and sanitation engineering.
He said the school and relevant stakeholders were working together on a number of initiatives, including improving the student experience, gaining accreditation for more Tech programs, strengthening international collaborations, initiating construction of the first of three student hostels offered.
Ms. Abena Bondziwa Bonney, an electrical/electronics engineering student, was named the best graduate student.