Zero Base School Drop-Out

General, Opinions, TOP STORIES

(Value transformation within the Education sector)

The term was coined by Ntim Gyakari aka Sir, Sir after critical study and experience of the education system of Ghana and Africa over the past 25 years of working in the sector.

The journey to one’s future starts with Training and Education, where the prepared learner is the achiever at the end of the race, though the beneficiary is the Nation as a whole.

The concept establishes the fundamental basis of free education at Basic and Secondary School levels. “Ghana’s Educational System is meaningless unless it is designed to create employable skills and transform the individual thinking geared towards patriotic citizenry”.

School Drop-out is usually explained to mean different phenomenon of what causes it rather than what it actually meant:
▪those who use their children in child labour to support family’s daily meals.
▪those who could not passed their BECE, or WASSE
▪those who could not get placement by the computerized school selection placement system (CSSPS)
▪those who could not afford enrollment because of financial constraint. Today the Free SHS has addressed the issues above, if not all. Yes, the list that explains the term ‘Drop-out’ is not exhausted without looking at it across all the levels of the educational structure,
▪particularly those who do not get jobs because they didn’t pursue employable related programs.

Restructuring and Reorganisation of the Technical, Vocational and Agricultural Education
Once upon a time, Ghana use to have strong structured technical education system which used to be the bedrock of our industrial labor force. I recall ATTC, KTI, Obuasi Sec Tec, Suhum Sec Tec, GSTS, Kwadaso Agric College and all the technical and the polytechnics which used to offer technical and vocational courses.

One can not overlook the TVA Science of education, if a country wants to move into industrialization, ‘1D1F, PFJ, RFJ initiatives cannot strive to its optimum success without this. We need to learn from the Germans in terms of its Technical Education Structure.

The prevalent problems associated with the Technical, Vocational and Agriculture (TVA) education system includes:
▪lack of infrastructure and superstructure for government TVA schools
▪lack of financial support for private technical and vocational school owners
▪lack of recognition and respect among the peer students for those who pursue technical education. (a misconception)
▪lack of counseling unit to orient the Junior high school students on the prospects of TVA education

Way forward

  1. Restructuring of the Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) into TVA Schools:

The NPP government should quickly complete all the community day secondary schools started by the NDC and restructure it to become more TVA base which will be linked to the Research Institutions, Factories, and Farms for apprenticeship, internship and prospective job placement after completion of those who cannot afford to continue at the Polytechnic Universities.

The current CDSS should be equipped with technical and vocational tools and laboratories to ensure effective and smooth take off on pilot.

  1. Rebranding of the Technical, Vocational and Agriculture Education:

We need to rebrand the TVA education to establish its rightful recognition among our youth. This would require persistent effort of counseling of pupils/students at the Basic school who already have the perception that technical is a ‘failure’ among their colleagues pursuing secondary education.

This undermining and marginalization will only cease provided strong media advocacy is engaged to take it up. I always love the spirit of the Ghanaian media outlets when it comes to fighting an epidemic such as HIV AIDS, ebola, malaria etc. Let us see this misconception and perception as epidemic and fight it together with effective rebranding strategies particularly by giving it equal platform and attention.

I must admit that qualifications are highly influenced by certification awarded, however in this meritocracy of the 21st century, more people lie about education. The manipulation of the truth is accelerating at an exponential rate, but this is actually limited and controlled when it comes to technical certification because the holder of such certificate must practically demonstrate and prove it on the field of work.

Notwithstanding, the standard and quality of the curricula design, method of assessment and evaluation of certificates for job placements should given a second look. This simply means bodies like NVTI, COTVET, NABPTEX should effectively play their roles as key stakeholders.

  1. Linking Technician and Vocational certificate holders for placement and contracts –
    The Youth Employment Agency initiative that offers Ghanaians temporary employment is good but can be deepened with the introduction of search and find web/ platforms to bring the private job providers to the door step of the labor force on daily basis at the press of the nod on the mobile phone.

Whilst Ghana was converting its polytechnics into universities, and diverting the core technical programmes to management related disciplines only to address position and salary placement conflict, China, I learnt has rather converted about 600 of their universities into polytechnics to strengthen their technical and vocational training to further industrialization growth.

Our free education is not complete until it is translated into employable skills. Enough of the theoretical, we want to see more practical endowed educational framework after Basic schooling. Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo is my hero, let us quickly learn from the African star as a living legend.
TBC.
Signed
Sir, Sir

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