Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
I rise to commend the maker of the Statement, Hon Barbara Asher Ayisi, for this very important Statement on the Floor.
Mr Speaker, I add my voice to Hon Colleagues who have advocated and said that this policy is a step in the right direction, especially as we dream of moving this country from a middle income to an industrialised nation.
We are told that it takes about 10 per cent of our graduates about 10 years to actually find jobs in the job market. This statistic points to one fact that indeed, whatever training we are giving to our youth does not actually meet the job market requirements.
I believe that as a country, we focus so much on theoretical rather than practical education. We have students from the university who study engineering and other technical fields but have not put their hands on an engine before.
Mr Speaker, I believe that even with the formal education in TVET, we should blend it up with practical training during their study in the university. That is what we find in Germany, Finland and North Korea. You can never have an engineer who has passed through the university without undergoing the practical aspect of the engineering in a factory before passing out, but we have it in our country.
We have civil engineers who have actually not done any practical work in civil engineering before they complete.
Mr Speaker, I believe that as we focus on TVET, we should also have in mind that it is the way of dealing with our unemployment issues as a country. If we have a vision of industrialisation, then the question is, as we build these factories, do we have the required human resource to fill in these industrialisation agenda?
That is why I commend the Hon Deputy Minister for making this Statement, in that we are blending the two to make sure that we are not just feeding on and creating empty industries, but indeed, we have the technical men and women to fill these industries.
Mr Speaker, on the world's top 20 countries that are very recognised when it comes to TVET education, this collation
was done by the New Jersey Medicine World's Top 20 Countries and they based their data on global education report These are countries that they have listed at being at the apex when it comes to TVET education;
1. South Korea, 2. Finland, 3. Japan, 4. Hong Kong, 5.Russia, 6. China,7. Netherlands, 8. Israel, 9. Estonia,10. Singapore, 11. Latvia, 12. Kazastan 13. Canada, 14. Norway, 15. New Zealand, 16. United States of America, 17. Ireland, 18. Sweden, 19. United Kingdom and 20. Denmark.
Mr Speaker, so we ought to have a priority as a country even for post- graduate education in technical education. Many Ghanaians, when they have even migrated from the tertiary institutions here and want to further their education, there is this broad mentality about good universities around the world without focusing on the speciality of the person.
Mr Speaker, let us see how the United Kingdom is rated with the TVET education. The UK is rated at 19, but when it comes to the humanities we would not find them at 19 or the United States at number 16.
Mr Speaker, so as we give scholarships to our students to further their education, I believe that the Ministry should also table out universities that are carrying out post-graduate education in TVET for our children to be able to choose the right universities and the right courses before they leave our shores.
Mr Speaker, other than that, and with the agitation that we should invest resources in TVET education, we might be investing, but investing wrongly such
that someone who wants to further his or her education in maybe engineering would prefer to go to the UK, because generally, everybody thinks that the UK is good when it comes to education, but forgetting that with technical education it would have been better to go to North Korea or Finland.
Mr Speaker, I believe that as we launch this campaign, the Ministry should also look at these priorities for our students who intend to further their education.
Mr Speaker, in ending my presentation, I believe that as a country, if we stop the habit of looking down on the informal sector, we would move forward faster. A carpenter who was trained at the back of a ‘chop bar' and someone who has gone through formal education, we could see the difference or parity that exists when it comes to how the society looks at them.
But there ought to be a blend of both so that we find a way to merge them into the formal sector. I have seen products from China and the inscriptions and instructions on those products are not written in English. So, every Chinese citizen could actually read what ought to be done to set up something.
Mr Speaker, I know that many Hon Members of Parliament have had the experience of travelling abroad and they know that when it comes to fixing things at home, people are expected to have some basic skill.
A person would buy a television stand from a shop, and nobody would fix it for the person because there is a manuel attached to it. So, a person goes home, reads it and then would fix it.
Mr Speaker, this is an indication in those Western countries that emphasis needs to be placed on people to be able to do things for themselves.