By Samuel Akumatey, GNA
Ho, March 2, GNA - Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education has launched the 50th Anniversary of Ho Technical University, formerly Ho Polytechnic and reiterated the need to uphold “skills training as first and not a last option”.
He noted that the neglect of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) contributed to the nation’s inability to add value to its natural resources, hence its underdevelopment.
Dr Prempeh said the distribution of labour force in the industrialized world showed that skills training played a key role in their successes, and was a “prized asset” in an increasingly globalised world of labour fluidity.
He said Government, having realized that TVET remained one of the pillars to a “Ghana beyond aid”, would continue to support technical education in the country through the Ministry of Education, and the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
“As a government we have for a long time in the past not taken TVET seriously. This trend must change now. This government is determined to give sufficient attention to this sector. This will lead to churning out men and women with skills that are structured to meet the economic challenges facing our country”, he said.
The Minister said apart from support from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), government was taking measures to retool and modernize skills training in line with international standards.
He said loans were being procured to expand and reequip polytechnics and technical universities, adding that Government was committed to establishing 20 state-of-the-art technical and vocational institutes across the country as commitment to TVET.
Dr Prempeh said the remaining polytechnics would be upgraded soon to the status of universities and urged the management of the technical universities to maintain successes chalked so far in preparing the country’s labour force.
“I am hopeful that as technical universities, they would continue to play a vital role in providing middle and senior level technical manpower to address the development needs of our nation”, he stated.
The year- long celebration is on the theme “Consolidating the Gains of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Ghana: HTU @ 50” and will be climaxed in September.
Professor Emmanuel Sakyi, Vice Chancellor of the University, said a faculty block for applied sciences, laboratory complex and an ultramodern gate would be built to commemorate the anniversary.