Stakeholders at a day's forum on development of appropriate skills for the country's educational institutions have called for a strong link between theory and practical training in order to well-prepare students to meet the needs of the job market. They called for rationalization of curricula with emphasis on job attachment and acquisition of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills to enable students to become competitive and lead the country's development agenda. The symposium was organized by the Ghana Employers' Association (GEA), to assess the skills gap in the labour market and recommend measures to bridge that gap by training of students in skills that were relevant to the labour market needs and training institutions.
Currently, programmes offered in Ghanaian training institutions were skewed towards the humanities as a result of which even the polytechnics, which were more technical inclined, were currently admitting more people for business related courses instead of science and technical subjects. The stakeholders said measures, including review of curriculum and content rationalization of programmes that did not meet the demands of employers, relevance of programmes, the dexterity of graduates, relevant skills and competencies and exposure to global and international competition were necessary to ensure that graduates were well positioned to take advantage of the job market. Festus Addo-Yobo, Rector, Accra Polytechnic, called for the promotion of business model for training institutions to address issues such as teachers having renewable contracts that were subject to periodic evaluations, give close monitoring to graduates, create strong links with enterprises through governance; delivery of training services, in-service training and financial sustainability. Addo-Yobo said that this resulted in the introduction of the competence based teaching approach in the polytechnics where students progress after they demonstrate their understanding of what they have been taught. Alexander Frimpong, Acting Executive Director of GEA, said, 'employers had been challenged with funding for training of employees against the back-drop of the global economic crises and that Ghana shall experience a significant boost if the quality of education and training in institutions are improved.'