TECHNICAL EDUCATION KEY TO INDUSTRIALISATION— HON. JUSTINA OWUSU-BANAHENE
The cardinal objective of post independent Ghana for the establishment of technical educational institutions to offer middle school leavers a chance to undergo hand-on training in craft programmes remains relevant today, the Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene, has posited.
She said it was crucial for the country to continue to provide the youth with employable skills and guide them to set up their own businesses to employ others considering the high unemployment among the youth.
“Technical education is very crucial in Ghana’s industrialisation agenda which seeks to transform the structure of the economy from primary to secondary level,” she stated.
Ms Owusu-Banahene was speaking at a grand durbar organised by the Sunyani Technical University (STU) to climax activities that marked the establishment of the institution on Saturday in Sunyani.
In 1967, the Sunyani Technical Institute was established to offer opportunity to middle school leavers to be trained in programmes including intermediate block-laying and concreting, Carpentry and Joinery, Electrical Installation and Motor Vehicle Mechanics among others.
Thirty years later in 1997, the Sunyani Technical Institute was upgraded to Sunyani Polytechnic which ran a wide range of tertiary and non-tertiary and certificate programmes to produce middle level manpower graduates.
Nineteen years into the polytechnic education in 2016, the polytechnic was converted to the Sunyani Technical University.
Addressing the gathering, Ms Owusu-Banahene said government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that technical education was given the needed impetus to drive the country’s transformation to industrialisation and accelerated socio-economic development.
While commending both past and current authorities of the institution for their achievements over the years, he charged them to use the anniversary to map up comprehensive strategies to contribute to the overall development of the region and the country.
In an address read on his behalf by a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere-Baafi, President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo said since 2017, the government had created strong foundation for technical, vocational education training due to its importance to the country’s socio-economic development.
He said the rehabilitation and upgrading of laboratories and workshops in technical universities undertaken by the government was one key project that was planned to uplift skills training.
That project which cost $119 million was a collaboration between the government and its Chinese partners through the AVIC International Holdings aimed at improving the equipment base of some 34 National Vocational Training Institutes (NVTIs), 13 technical institutes and 10 technical universities in the country.
President Akufo-Addo mentioned that in the Bono Region alone, two institutions, STU and the Methodist Vocational Institute at Baakonniaba, benefitted from the AVIC Project.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor of STU, Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, said that the 55th anniversary was held to create visibility for the university as a preferred technical university in Ghana and Africa for raising the next generation of industry captains.
He said through the anniversary, the alumni association, corporate Ghana, industry players and friends of the university were brought together to put all hands on deck for the implementation of the a five-year Strategic Plan and 40-year Master Plan, which is the blueprint for STU’s development.