Schoolchildren walking home near Princess town, Ghana Schoolchildren walking home near Princess town, Ghana 

Africa needs a blend of academic and technical education says Ghanian priest.

A Ghanaian Catholic priest says that Africa needs to prioritise vocational and technical education to deal with the rising tide of unemployment. This growing crisis was already acknowledged by the youth of Africa in the weeks leading to the Synod of Bishops on Young People that was held last month, October, in the Vatican.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican City

There is a proliferation of universities and colleges in Africa. Increasingly more and more people are graduating with higher university degrees and yet there are no jobs for them.

Governments must promote Vocational and Technical education

“Looking at our country Ghana, a developing nation and a middle-income earner, I believe Ghana needs the right quality of education for development. Would it not help the country, now and in the future, if people’s talents are identified and developed?” wonders Fr. Aloysius Kpiebaya, a priest of the Diocese of Wa writing in Ghana’s Catholic Standard newspaper.

Fr. Aloysius adds, “At the moment, there appears to be low interest and insistence in vocational and technical training. Therefore, some parents, as well as most people in Ghana, think that vocational and technical training is for those who cannot make it academically. Everyone wants to go through the Senior High System, with whatever grades or results from the Basic Education Certificate Examination. Until we focus more on and are interested in the vocational and technical sector, we will continue to languish along the line of underdevelopment,” says Fr. Aloysius.

A blend of academic and vocational education

Many of Ghana’s young unemployed graduates could be nurtured and made more productive through vocational and technical training.

“I believe if the unemployed graduates’ talents were identified and developed in the right institutions and if the right quality of education for development were given to them, the unemployment margin would have reduced drastically,” said the priest of Wa.

Fr. Aloysius believes that what is needed, as happens already in some countries, is a blend of academic and technical, vocational education.

“We need to identify those who are academically inclined and encourage them to go in for academic certificates. Those who are also technically or vocationally good should be encouraged to go for that,” suggests Fr. Aloysius.  

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28 November 2018, 15:35