President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that it is in the laboratories and workshops of Technical High Schools that students will get the opportunity to expand their imagination, and develop the skills that would equip them for the modern world.

According to Akufo-Addo, his government will not “turn the Free SHS into a process that simply churns out young people that would not be equipped to cope with the modern world”, stressing that “a High school educated child without any skills would be even more frustrated than a child that ended her education at the Junior High School.”

He, therefore, assured that his government will “ensure that our High Schools and their teachers are equipped to deal with the white heat of science and technology that rule today’s world.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, May 13, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the 33rd Anniversary and 2nd Speech and Prize Giving day celebration of the Mafe-Kumase Senior Technical School, at the commencement of his 2-day tour of the Volta Region.

The President noted that the joblessness and underemployment that have blighted the lives of Ghanaian youth will be overcome, “when we provide laboratories and workshops and the qualified teachers that would turn out skilled school leavers.”

Every new policy his government has sought to introduce, like 1-District-1-Factory, and 1-Village-1-Dam, he said, requires skilled people to make them work.

“Science, technology and technical skills rule agriculture and the entire food industry, and that is where the jobs are. Remember the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, which I rolled out recently at Goaso in the Bring Ahafo Region? Science, technology and technical skills rule industry, and you rule yourself out if you are not appropriately equipped. That is why we are insisting on the policy of One District, One Factory,” he added.

To this end, the President assured that his government will prioritise a change in attitude of the country’s education system that would pay deserved attention to skills training, adding that “the provision of laboratories and workshops would be paramount. This would involve huge investments in infrastructure and the proper training of teachers.”

Many schools like Mafe-Kumase Sec Tech

President Akufo-Addo noted that there are many schools around Ghana that are in the same situation as Mafe-Kumase Senior High Technical School, where, though they tend to be called secondary-technical, the technical bit is often more in hope than in reality.

“A particularly sad tell-tale sign of these schools is the unavailability of laboratories and workshops. We call them technical schools, and they do not have laboratories and workshops and the children do not have the opportunity to do the practical component of the courses they take,” he said.

He continued, “They take courses in technical drawing, building construction, clothing and textile, animal husbandry, applied electricity, without workshops. Some might consider that as an impossibility, but it is happening in our schools. Unfortunately, it is the reality for the majority of our schools, and this is the reality for Mafe-Kumase Sec-Tech. It shames us all that 60 years after we gained our political independence, many of our schools are in this state.”

In order to start the process of “trying to turn the technical in the name of your school into a reality”, President Akufo-Addo pledged the construction of “a modern, well-equipped workshop”, which, he added, will be appropriate structure to mark his visit to Mafe-Kumasi Sec-Tech.

With the Japanese government helping to build a science laboratory in the school, President Akufo-Addo was confident that “the addition of a modern and well-equipped workshop complex would transform your school.”