The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Gifty Twum-Ampofo, has called on TVET students to see Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education as a strong tool to make them competitive.
According to her, the current tools and equipment available require some advanced knowledge in technology, and that to be competitive in TVET, it is important that STEM education is seen as a priority.
“Today, carpentry and joinery are not a hammer and nail issue. There is well-developed, advanced equipment which we call state-of-the-art industrial equipment. And for you to be able to operate these machines, you have to be STEM-oriented. You need to understand how to use the machines installed in the institutions.
“The auto mechanic shops now use diagnostic machines and if you are not STEM-oriented, you cannot use them. So this is a way to tell young people that you need STEM education to understand exactly what you are doing to become globally competitive. Therefore, our children who are into modern TVET need to be STEM-oriented to be able to man machines effectively and efficiently,” she said.
She said this at the 3rd Women in TVET conference held under the theme ‘Digitall: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ in Accra.
She called on young ladies to prepare themselves for opportunities in male-dominated fields so as to narrow the gender gap.
She further urged women to take advantage of technological devices available to them to evolve in the world of work.
She said government has made a lot of investment into technology and STEM education to ensure smooth training for all.
The Director-General, Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah, speaking at the event, said the initiative is to challenge gender stereotypes in TVET in the country as well as showcase female TVET trainees and graduates and successful women in TVET.
“The Women in TVET conference is organised to showcase the competencies of women when they take up opportunities offered in TVET. Women in TVET, especially the male-dominated areas, are doing exceptionally well and we must appreciate them. It is also to increase women participation, especially in male-dominated areas,” he said.
While encouraging women to participate in TVET, particularly in male-dominated trades, he added that the conference offers an opportunity to impress on the government to provide more support for women in TVET.
The conference, a partnership with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, sought to reshape perceptions about TVET.
It brought together participants from Junior and Senior High Schools as well as Vocational and Technical Schools in Accra. The day also paved the way for the launch of trade profiles and industry attachment guidelines.