We need stronger technical and vocational education – Ashesi Founder

Founder and president of Ashesi University, Accra, Dr. Patrick Awuah has called for a stronger technical and vocational education in the country “because of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which means vocational education would have to have stronger digital content and electronics component to it.”

In an interview with Goldstreet Business at the induction ceremony of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS), Awuah opined that with all the new emerging technologies, engineering is going to be a very important fundamental just as ethics and philosophy and the arts, among others.

“Vocational education would perhaps be more important than today,” he noted, adding that we need to do the things that we are doing now better.

According to a World Bank report on the demand and supply of skills in Ghana, the public financing approach and the general lack of incentives to improve, technical, vocational education and training (TVET) in the country will perpetuate the low-quality skills system that responds very poorly to the needs of the economy.

The report pointed out that with artificial intelligence complimenting natural intelligence there will be a bigger shift in how things are done.

Awuah said, “In the age of intelligence machine, machines would do a lot of work but we would always need people to maintain and manage those machines. Therefore, vocational education would change.”

“We would have to have a stronger emphasis on electrical machines and not just hydraulics, among others.”

Over the last few years, enrollment in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology (KNUST) for social sciences has been higher than the combined enrollment for engineering and sciences students.

Awuah pointed out that, “People in Silicon Valley, California, USA, are not spending a lot of time thinking about the problems in Ghana, they are thinking more about the problems in America.”

“And so we need to educate people here at the same level or similar levels as those in Silicon Valley, and have them apply that knowledge and their capabilities at solving problems here in Ghana,” he added.

By Joshua W. Amlanu