The education system in Ghana founded by the British remains largely unchanged even after over half a century of independence. Since the trend was to train manpower to run government businesses, institutions were set up with specific mandates for training of personnel. The mode of delivery since then has always been knowledge-based training. Although technical schools were also set up to help train the middle level manpower industrial needs for the country, it has not fully achieved the intended purpose.
The emphasis of successive governments was on building more Secondary Schools at the expense of Technical Schools. Technical education has not seen rapid expansion because of the perception that it is for those who are academically challenged. Again, in terms of further education in the field, not much provision has been made. Though the Polytechnics were set up as a channel to further educate students from Technical Schools, it has many challenges, including the lack of equipment, lack of trained tutors, and the general apathy based on misconception.
The mode of delivery in the few existing Technical Schools has also been basically knowledge-based training. Unfortunately, this training has not seen much success because the Technical Schools lack basic equipment, as well as the deficiency in teachers regarding skills and relevant competencies in skills-based training.
AGIHL believes that skill development based on Competency-Based Training (CBT) should be the way forward. This will call for the overhaul of the entire technical education curriculum and the re-training of its facilitators.
As of now, the major challenge facing the country is the overproduction of University graduates with little or no skills chasing non-existent jobs, which has led to the now high level of unemployment. The multi-dimensional effects include lack of confidence in the education system, which will eventually affect the enthusiasm of parents investing in their children’s education.
An attempt to move in the technical direction has led to a premature conversion of six out of the ten Polytechnics into Technical Universities. This is coming with a huge cost of writing new curriculum which should be placed on Competency-Based Training platform with an emphasis on skill development and training of facilitators using proper equipment.
ASSEMBLIES OF GOD INITIATIVE
To compliment government efforts in improving Technical education and making it the sure means to providing employable skills to the people of Ghana, the ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, GHANA, as part of its corporate and social responsibility is embarking on establishing a Technical University as an educational initiative. At the beginning of 2015, the Church sought help from the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) to write a Competency-Based Training (CBT) curriculum with emphasis on skill development. The National Accreditations Board (NAB) has granted the Institutional Accreditation, and in a few weeks will also grant the Programmes Accreditation. As it stands now, COTVET has approved six programmes for the start of ASSEMBLIES OF GOD INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING (AGIHL) in Kumasi.
The programmes Approved by COTVET, and Accredited by NAB are as follows:
- Tech in Agricultural Mechanisation
- Tech in Renewable Energy Technology
- Tech in Mechatronics
- Tech in Electrical / Electronic Engineering
- Tech in Civil Engineering (with emphasis on environmental issues, civil works, construction and management, roads and highways)
- Tech in Mechanical Engineering (with emphasis on welding and fabrication, plant processing, design and manufacturing, automotive)
The University already have Lecture Halls and Offices, Library, E-Library fitted with 33 computers, ICT centre with 50 computers, connected to the Internet.
The University of Education Winneba, through its Kumasi campus, has granted needed affiliation, though with limited involvement. This is because though the University run technical programmes, the levels are not high enough for them to mentor another technical institution. However, since they serve as the only facilitators of the CBT programmes in the nation; their affiliation has been accepted by the NAB.