A Deputy Minister of Education (Tertiary), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has launched a bursary Scheme to provide scholarships to 4,000 Technical and Vocational Education students and apprentices.
The scheme is part of the Development of Skills for Industry Project (DSIP), an initiative by government to reinforce efforts in implementing the reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
It is also to support the development of high quality middle level technical and vocational skills needed in the Ghanaian economy.
The DSIP Bursary Scheme, which will cost government about US$5 Million, is aimed at providing scholarships and stipends to 1,500 students pursuing science related TVET programmes in 13 formal sector Training Institutions and 2,500 apprentices within the informal sector in over 30 districts nationwide.
The bursary covers the full cost of tuition and training.
Performing the launch, Mr Ablakwa said the scheme was demand driven and required students who qualify under a set of criteria outlined by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET) to apply and go through an evaluation and selection process.
While observing the low numbers of girls pursuing TVET programmes like engineering, laboratory technology, he reiterated that the DSIP Bursary Scheme was one of government’s responses to support female participation in science and technology related programmes in the TVET sector.
In his remark, Project Coordinator and Head of the COTVET Project Support Unit, Matthew Dally, assured the public that, his outfit would ensure the timely and efficient management of the DSIP Bursary Scheme and ensure that by the end of 2016, all 4,000 expected beneficiaries would have benefitted from the programme.
He acknowledged the support of partners like the African Development Bank, Ghana Education Service and Trade Associations, and indicated that, the COTVET Project Support Unit would ensure objectivity, transparency and professionalism in the management of applications to the scheme.
Mr Dally said District and National Bursary Committees had been constituted in all project districts to facilitate the process of selecting beneficiaries.
Selected students from 13 selected TVET institutions, including Ada Technical Institute, Akwatia Technical Institute, Bolgatanga Technical Institute and Kpando Technical Institute will benefit from the scheme.
In the informal sector, 2,500 apprentices will be selected from various districts where Master Craft Persons have been trained and certified by COTVET to train using Competency Based Training modules.
Some of the districts include Dangme East, La Nkwantanan Madina, Tema, Ashiaman, Ho, Kpando, South Dayi and Takoradi.
DSIP is funded with a USD 120 million loan facility from the African Development Bank and implemented by the Project Support Unit (PSU) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
Present at the launch were officials from the African Development Bank, Trade Associations, Heads of DSIP partner Training Institutions and the Ghana Education Service.