The Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) has held a role model advocacy workshop to define how role models can be used to positively influence perceptions about Technical, Vocational Education & Training (TVET).
The Role Model Programme aims at advocating for the youth in the Junior and Senior High Schools, as well as Technical Institutions to choose and pursue careers in TVET, as a viable alternative.
Using the role model concept, the programme aims to advocate for female students to look up to other Female Role Models who have achieved career success in TVET. In his keynote address, the board chairman of COTVET, Mr Rockson Dogbegah acknowledged that the Government of Ghana had identified skills development as critical in achieving its social and economic aspirations.
He stressed that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is vital for producing relevant skills necessary for improving economic performance, reducing poverty, and creating employment, therefore the need for quality TVET delivery and equitable access if it is to perform its role to the population.
Mr Dogbegah said TVET was still in its infant growth stage and that its function to economic prosperity of the country is completely ignored from national discourse.
“The TVET concept is largely overshadowed by the high premium placed on University Education, which is highly theory-biased and therefore making it not attractive,” he said. He called for attitudinal change towards TVET in order to transform it into a vibrant essential industry.
He said while attempts were being made to whip up the appetite for TVET, this must not be done at the expense of swaying the natural interest of the young ones in other areas, which might not necessary, be along TVET lines. Other programmes COTVET have used to upgrade TVET to make it appealing to the youth are building the capacity of training providers through infrastructural development and staff training.
“All across the country, instructors are being retrained, training workshops are being retooled, and laboratories equipped through various programmes managed by the COTVET and funded by the Government of Ghana and AfDB”, stated the Executive Director of COTVET, Mr Sebastian Deh, in an address read on his behalf.
Mr Deh, indicated that the programme, which was launched in October 2014, is under the Development of Skills for Industry Project (DSIP), funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Ghana and managed by the Project Support Unit of COTVET. He said one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of the TVET sector is the low prestige it enjoys in the hearts and minds of the Ghanaian populace.
Mr Deh assured participants that COTVET, being the legally mandated body charged with coordinating and overseeing TVET in Ghana, is taking concrete measures to address these negative perceptions. These measures consist of advocacy programmes like the Role Model Programme to positively influence perceptions.
The occasion was attended by representatives of Trade Associations, rectors of polytechnics, policy makers, some chosen role models and students.