The TVET Service is a laudable achievement in the development of TVET in Ghana since it not only gives a new outlook to the sector but importantly, it ensures increased coordination of all TVET institutions under the 19 Ministries under only one, which is the Education Ministry.
The launch of the Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET) Service by the Vice President (Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia) on Tuesday, December 14 2021 in Accra is a fulfilment of article 55 of the Pre-Tertiary Education Act (Act 1049). Importantly, the TVET Service is mandated to manage, oversee and implement policies and programmes in the TVET sector.
This is to help revive the interest of the youth in TVET as well as increase the choice of TVET among prospective youth in their quest for technical education
The TVET Service establishment is among the many interventions by government since 2017 to revamp and reform the sector. Few weeks ago, government announce that the TVET reformation process has seen an investment of $1 billion since 2017 with support of development partners (DANIDA, EU, GIZ, KfW, the Chinese Government among others).
The investment has been channelled into the provision of massive infrastructure and equipment including upgrading 34 NVTIs, the building of modern TVET laboratories in 17 technical schools and TVET institutions; retooling of all the 10 technical universities in the country with modern equipment and a University of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship has also been established.
The result has shown that, students who sat for their final year in technical examinations increased to 24,000 from the 2019 figure of 17,000 according to the deputy minister responsible for TVET. That said, many in the media and CSO circles have expressed worry that the changing priorities of donors could impact the TVET sector in future especially when domestic financing has averaged 2.86% of the total education budget from 2011-2018.
Recently government committed $60 million at the opening of the fifth Skills Development Fair in Accra, November, 2020 under the Skills Development Fund (SDF) now (Ghana-SDF This commitment was announced because a major donor DANIDA i.e., the Danish government, which is one of the major donors of the SDF since its inception in 2011, will no longer fund the project in subsequent years.
It is against this background that the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) in collaboration with CITI TV and with the support of OXFAM and partners organized the National Forum on TVET Financing and Youth Employment to call on government to;
Increase Domestic Financing of TVET considering sourcing from the Communication Service Tax (CST). Since 2008 the CST has made GHS 3.52 billion.
Develop a TVET Financing Policy to ensure consistent and sustainable financing of TVET in Ghana to match up with the ECOWAS average of 5.6% in the short to medium term and exceed it in the long term.
The withdrawal of DANIDA from the SDF should be a wake-up call for government to work towards addressing donor shocks such as this one, in order to chart a path for sustainable domestic financing in the future if the donor support stops flowing-in.
It is important to also note that the call for increased financing is not out of place because research has established that the cost of financing TVET is between 5 to 6 times the cost of traditional secondary education.
Government must not get tired of increasing investment in TVET; this will help to reap the full benefits of the sector and eventually reduce the menace of youth unemployment.