SEVENTY-FIVE per cent of the curricula of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions is outdated, a skills gap analysis between 2018 and 2022 has revealed.
The analysis, which was matched with an audit of 10 economic sectors, showed that within the period, there was also an ineffective mode of teaching at the various TVET institutions, which adversely impacted on the productivity levels of graduates from those schools on the job market.
The Director-General of the Commission of TVET (CTVET), Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, disclosed this at a media briefing on the first five-year strategic plan (2018 to 2022) for transforming TVET in the country.
The plan is also expected to establish strong links between industry and TVET providers/academia.
The analysis was to address issues of skills mismatch between training institutions and industry.
Dr Asamoah, who was briefing the media on what the CTVET was able to do, the drawbacks and the tenets of the strategic plan, said currently “the gaps in the curriculum are being addressed under the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project, which is expected to develop 100 competency-based training (CBT) packages from level one (proficiency) to level five (higher national diploma) of the national TVET qualification framework”.
“In all these, however, one of the biggest drawbacks in the provision of quality TVET is the poor state of training facilities and equipment and the lack of linkage to industry.
“Only a handful of formal TVET institutions and providers are considered well-equipped to provide training,” he revealed.
The director-general said in response to those challenges, the government had invested “massively” in TVET over the last five years.
He listed the investments to include the upgrading and modernisation of all the erstwhile 34 National Vocational Training Institutes (NVTIs), the head office, together with 10 regional offices, five apprenticeship offices across the country and the Opportunities Industrialisation Centre at Bawaleshie in Accra.
Dr Asamoah said the upgrading involved the construction, rehabilitation and equipping of laboratories, workshops, additional classrooms, hostels and administrative offices with €123 million.
He said additionally, two new foundries and machining centres at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi were completed last year.
He further said construction work on five new district TVET centres of excellence was ongoing, with those at Anyinam in the Eastern Region and Pakyi No. 2 and Manso Abore, both in the Ashanti Region, nearing completion, while those at Assin Jakai in the Central Region and Akomadan in the Ashanti Region were at various stages of completion.
“The first phase of the construction of 32 state-of-the-art TVET institutions, costing $158 million, commenced in nine regions last year. These campuses will have academic facilities, workshops, laboratories, hostels and staff accommodation and provide further access for training,” Dr Asamoah added.
The CTVET Director-General explained that the survey was even more critical in a time of accelerated technological development when industries, globally, kept transforming, with TVET at the centre of providing the skills needed for them.
As part of the strategic plan to ensure the evenly spread of skills at the disposal of industries, he said, the government was establishing sector-specific skills bodies in 22 identified economic sectors, with 12 of such bodies already inaugurated.
He said the analysis and audit findings had contributed to the work of the sector skills bodies to help with the generation and upgrading of standards within the CBT framework.
Next strategic plan
Touching on the next five years under the strategic plan, Dr Asamoah said the government was looking forward to launching the TVET transformation plan and developing a TVET Policy.
“We will be looking at the digitalisation of the TVET system, as well as the licensing and professionalisation of TVET graduates.
“We are working at creating a sustainable TVET financing mechanism with the enhancement of the Ghana Skills Development Fund. Arguably, our biggest activity will be to oversee the implementation of the modified dual TVET based on increased industrial attachment,” he added.
He said as part of the regulatory mandate of the commission, there would be stronger monitoring mechanisms with tracer studies in TVET institutions, especially at the technical universities, stressing: “We are working towards bridging innovation and learning in TVET.”