Dr Ahmed Jinapor Abdullai, the Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Technical Education Commission has said technical, vocational and competency-based training remained critical and foundational to the development aspirations of the country.
The place of TVET, he argued had had a telling effect on the current socio-economic and political discourse to job creation and there was the need to give the area more and more attention.
Dr Abdullai was speaking during the sixth and first virtual Congregation organised by the Takoradi Technical University in Effia in the Western Region.
He said the Commission, therefore, was sure that Technical Universities would be the panacea to the unemployment situation in the country.
“We believe that Technical Universities will align graduate skills to employer demand…our interest is whether institutions can demonstrate employability of their students”.
The Deputy Director commended the University for taking steps to achieve a more technical based programme and appreciated the university for a well-structured approach curriculum, a high proportion of faculty with industry experience and partnerships, employer engagement support and urged other universities to emulate the achievement.
Dr Yaw Adutwum, the Minister for education reminded the TTU of their 5-year strategic plan “to transform Takoradi Technical University into an innovative, world-class institution of higher learning, rooted in quality teaching, learning and applied research.
He said, with 7-months into the implementation of the 5-year strategic plan since the launch, “I want to believe it is already bearing some fruits as anticipated as the premier technical institution at the highest level in Ghana”.
“The Takoradi Technical University today is one of the few universities that have exceeded the STEM to humanities ratio. As I indicated at the launch of the strategic plan, we have a target of 60% STEM to 40% humanities which at the national level now, is about 39% STEM to 61% humanities, but TTU is at 80% STEM to 20% humanities”.
This he noted showed, TTU’s commitment to the overall government intention for technical education which is expected to make Ghana’s industrialization a reality.
“With the modest achievements already chalked under this current management, the government is confident in the leadership of the University to steer the affairs of TTU towards the University’s 5-year strategic plan and also the achievements of the government’s expectations of Technical University education to the economy of Ghana.”
The Minister challenged the TTU to introduce an annual Tech-Expo to exhibit innovations by students and faculties to ginger students to challenge themselves on ways to help shape society with technology.
“This is the only way the investments government is making into Technical education can be justified and be relevant to the country.”
He added that the government through the Ministry of Education and relevant stakeholders was also committed to embracing such Tech-expos and ensuring that the innovators and their innovations were given the necessary push to commercialize them for societal use.
Professor John Frank Eshun, the Vice-Chancellor of the TTU said the vision of the University was to be a world-class technical university recognized for excellence, innovation and societal relevance with its niche area in oil and gas engineering. “This vision is the driving force of all our activities as a Technical University”.
“The University is poised to provide excellent technical education and training, innovative applied research and consultancy services to our students and stakeholders for the development of the nation and beyond”.
According to the VC, in the year 2020/2021 the university student population stood at 16,297 made up of 10,031 males representing 62 per cent and 6,266 females representing 38 per cent.
He said the University successfully turned out 4,218 graduands: six awarded Master of Technology, 1,131 Bachelor of Technology degrees, 2,348 awarded Higher National Diplomas; 420 awarded non-tertiary diplomas with 255 Civil Engineering graduands receiving HND Competency-Based Training (CBT) certificates from the National Board for Professional and Technician Examination (NABPTEX) while 58 were awarded certificates, diploma and advance diploma in logistics and Transport.
The VC said the University, as part of its vision and obligations, would continue to open doors to persons with special needs to be trained and give meaning to the maxim that ‘disability is not inability.
In terms of training, Takoradi Technical University has signed MoU with Petroleum Commission to train one hundred and fifty (150) Ghanaian youth who are beneficiaries of the government’s flap shaped accelerated oil and gas capacity building programme, he added.
Prof Eshun said the University has, therefore, embarked on vigorous research activities aimed at equipping staff to appreciate the contribution of research to the ranking and visibility of universities.
He added that from the next academic year faculties would be ranked according to their contributions to research and grants and the outstanding faculty and staff members would be awarded.
The University’s effort in championing research and grant collaborations with other universities, both local and abroad are yielding fruits.
He announced that the university had entered into various academic partnerships with institutions both local and abroad to help strengthen TTU’s capacity to staff and students exchange programmes as well as research collaborations.
He encouraged the graduands to go out into the world and be agents of positive change. “Let our university motto; Nsa, adwen na akoma ma impuntu; guide you in your quest for success in your field of work”.
“The training you have received is expected to give you the needed practical application of knowledge /technical skills to prepare you for the economic and social challenges of this country”.
” I always advise my graduates never to wait to be employed but rather to use the skills to create jobs for themselves. You should always remember that you are the ones to lead Ghana’s industrial growth”.
“You must always endeavour to uphold good morals and to be good ambassadors of Takoradi Technical University, your alma mater. I wish you all the very best”.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko Message said education was one of the most valuable investments that could ever be made both on the national and personal levels.
He noted that the NPP Government believed in quality education as a major fulcrum through which the nation’s manpower base could be developed.
“This stance of Government explains the numerous interventions that the education sector was receiving in recent times especially in the TVET arena”.
The Regional Minister promised to help fix the Akatakyie campus road for academic work to begin next year.
Over a hundred first-class students received recognition and awards with a deaf and dumb receiving an award for outstanding contribution to the artwork on the University campus.