The government has secured a $124-million facility from the African Development Bank (ADB) for the retooling of technical institutions under the Development for Skills Industry Project to make technical education more attractive.
Fourteen out of the 47 technical institutes are currently being considered for upgrading, in line with the government’s programme to rebrand technical education at all levels.
The Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, made this known at the ongoing 11th Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)-EXIM Bank conclave on the India-Africa Partnership Project in New Delhi, India, Tuesday.
Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who was contributing to a session on the topic: “Empowering people through entrepreneurship and skills development”, identified the lack of interest in technical education as a major challenge.
The two-day event is the single largest gathering of Indian industry players with their African counterparts, under one roof under the aegis of the EXIM Bank of India and the CII.
The deputy minister told the delegates that the government was making efforts to change the perception of people towards technical/vocational education.
He indicated that the crave for students to enter the universities to pursue formal education was ‘killing’ technical institutions in the country.
Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa made reference to Germany which, he said, had developed on the back of technical education, for which reason he indicated the willingness of Ghana to under-study that system.
He told the delegates about the conversion of six out of the 10 polytechnics in Ghana into technical universities, beginning from September this year.
The move, he explained, was to enable the polytechnics to exclusively pursue and award their own degrees, adding that non-technical institutions were no longer accredited to run such courses in polytechnics in Ghana.
He expressed the government’s commitment to train more teachers at the technical level, especially in the teaching of Mathematics and Science.
Answering questions from delegates, a Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Livestock, Dr Hannah Bissiw, who spoke on the creation of 72 mechanisation centres for the modernisation of agriculture, called on investors to consider investing in the agricultural sector in Ghana.
She said public-private partnerships were the way to go in making the agricultural sector more viable.