The Deputy Director – Plans, Research and Development of the Ghana Armed Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Antony Amoako has called on stakeholders in the education sector to deepen the incorporation of entrepreneurial skills into the curriculum of technical institutions, starting from the primary level.
That, he said should not only be an academic exercise, but should be practical enough for students to practicalise what they have been taught in the classroom.
“This would afford them the opportunity right from school to explore the possibility of creating their own jobs rather than thinking they can only be employed by industries,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Amoako was speaking on the theme: “Accelerated industrial growth: The role of technical universities” at the launch of the silver jubilee anniversary of the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) in Koforidua last Friday.
Management of the university, initially a polytechnic, which has been in existence since March, 17, 1997, would mark the anniversary with activities slated for this year and next year, with a grand durbar in March.
Lieutenant Colonel Amoako who is an old student of KTU, indicated that the current unemployment population in the country has put a halt on the economic development of the country, with only 10 per cent of graduates securing formal employment after completion of their education – quoting the Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research (ISSER).
He added that most young people in the country lack employable skills that are relevant to most industries and added that many do not have the skills to start or operate their own businesses and are inadequately prepared to meet the challenges of current economic reality.
He blamed the situation on the country’s educational system which placed a lot of emphasis on academic grade with little focus on employable skills and entrepreneurship.
According to him, there was “the need to equip graduates with the requisite skills and competencies to enable them think outside the box to create jobs on their own after leaving school,” adding that, that would propel industrial growth.
For his part, the Vice Chancellor of KTU, Professor David Kofi Essumang said the university was established by government to provide hands-on, practical and entrepreneurial skills to students who graduated to meet the needs of various sectors of the labour market.
“The story of today’s celebration started in 1997, from the initial one block structure. Thanks to our determination and perseverance, the one block polytechnic has been transformed into a university and has expanded in terms of student enrolment, programme diversity, faculty, and infrastructure,” he recalled.
He said the university which had 47 students when it began, now has over 8,000 students in and across other countries.