Mrs Theodosia Jackson, the Principal of Jackson College of Education (JCE), is advocating a national policy to encourage the youth to develop interest in learning a vocation.
She explained that such a deliberate and comprehensive strategy would be the surest way to address the growing youth unemployment in the country.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, Mrs Jackson said the policy, if well implemented, would also ultimately address streetism, one of the disturbing social cankers confronting the nation.
“It is important as a country to create the environment for the teeming youth to learn one trade or the other and to produce more artisans to drive industry and economic development,” she said.
To achieve this, she said, technical and vocational education must be strengthened at the basic and second cycle level to shape the ambitions of children as they climb the academic ladder.
“This is the time to build more technical and vocational schools to promote skills acquisition for those who may not be able to go beyond Senior High School (SHS)to prevent the possibility of them ending up on the streets”, Mrs. Jackson who is also a renowned counsellor, suggested.
She underlined the need for parents, teachers and other stakeholders to encourage students to develop interest in vocations that suits their academic performance.
She spoke against the erroneous perception that technical and vocational education was for the academically weak and urged parents not to put impediments in the way of their children who want to learn vocations.
According to her, artisans were creative and their contribution to national development could not be underestimated.
Mrs. Jackson also advocated a system, where professional artisans would be identified and empowered to train interested youth in various vocations to make them useful to society.
She said much as government deserved praise for implementing the free senior high policy, it was equally important to create room for some of the SHS graduates who may not progress to the university to learn vocations not to make the investment made in them go down the drain.
“There are some children who are in SHS because it is free and even if they pass with distinction they cannot pay for university fees therefore a provision must be made for such students to remain relevant to society,” she emphasized.