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Regional News of Saturday, 10 October 2015

Source: GNA

Prioritise technical education in 40-year dev. plan

Representatives of Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the Upper West Region have appealed to the National Development Planning Commission to prioritise technical and vocational education in Ghana’s 40-year development plan.

The students said the knowledge based education system was somehow contributing to youth unemployment rate in the country, therefore, there was the need to shift focus to a more practical and skills based education system that could feed the industries to expand the economy and create jobs.

The students made the appeal during the Upper West Regional Consultative Forum on the Long-Term National Development Plan organised by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in Wa.

The forum brought together stakeholders including representative of political parties, Traditional rulers, farmers, tailors and dressmakers, persons with disabilities, Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations (NG/CSOs), Municipal and District Assemblies, as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The forum is to enable the NDPC to collect and collate opinions from all stakeholders in order to prepare a long-term national development framework to facilitate the future transformation of the nation.

Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the NDPC in a brief video address, noted that Ghana had some experience in development planning but was quick to add that it was characterized by a lot of discontinuity.

He said because of this, there was the need to adopt a long-term plan that all governments would be committed to, to ensure continuity in the country’s development process.

Prof. Botchwey, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders to take the forum serious and endeavour to participate effectively in order to enable the Commission to collect more proposals towards preparing the 40-year national development plan.

Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister who read an address on behalf of the Regional Minister, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, commended the NDPC for the bold initiative and commitment in ensuring that the country adopted a long-term national framework which would facilitate the current transformation agenda.

He said since the 1960s, Ghana had not had any long term development plan but had prepared and implemented various development initiatives that spanned over several years by successive governments.

Recent plans have been more comprehensive, covering a range of issues, while emphasizing poverty reduction and growth within a given period, he said.

The Regional Minister mentioned the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS I from 2003-2005), the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II from 2006- 2009), the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA from 2010-2013), and currently GSGDA II covering 2014-2017 as some of the initiatives undertaken by the nation in the past.

He said the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was very much convinced that there was a very firm basis and justification for a new long-term national development plan and would therefore give the process the needed support.

Dr. Isaac Mensa-Bonsu, Director PCD of the NDPC, mentioned human capital, public sector reform/modernization, land reforms, infrastructure (immediate priority, energy), science, technology and innovation as well as attitudinal change as some of the drivers of the vision.

To achieve this, you need strong will and the desire to succeed, he said.

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