Why are students still reading courses inherited from colonialists?

The Chief Executive of the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), Sheila Naa Boamah, insisting students who read such courses do not stand any real chance of getting a job after school.

She explained Ghanaian educational institutions ought to respond to global developments in the job market that has seen entrepreneurship take center stage.

“We don’t want to create job seekers, we want to create entrepreneurs”, Naa Boamah explained on Joy FM Super Morning Show Wednesday. She pointed out that it is not prudent for students to still read courses that have been in existence since Ghana gained independence in 1957.

The SLTF is gearing up to engage educational stakeholders on a proposal that should see student loans from government skewed towards the sciences and technical courses.

But some Ghanaian students believe the proposal is a clear case of discrimination. The students believe that graduate unemployment is as a result of government’s failure to grow the economy enough to absorb different sets of skills.

But the developing position of SLTF is that science and technical courses are in greater demand on the job market than liberal arts. The Trust insist the unattractiveness of a liberal arts education in securing a job in Afrcia is grounded in research.

If more students are helped with loans to graduate in programmes with higher employment returns, there is a greater chance that they can pay back their loans, the SLTF believes.

SLTF wants the debate about financing tertiary education to be devoid of emotions. She wants an objective discussion on the relevance of some tertiary programmes in solving social problems and creating jobs.

Professor Kwesi Yankah, President of the Central University College has predicted that the number of graduate unemployed would likely surge to 271,000 this year up from the existing figure of 200,000.

Student of University for Development Studies, a public university

Universities have often been criticized as failing to meet the needs of industry.

Professor Kwesi Yankah has described some programmes in tertiary institutions as “straight jacket ideas”.

He is convinced that the continued running of “obsolete” academic curricula is partly responsible for the wide gap between the demands of industry and academia.

Although Ghana’s tertiary education system is dominated by public universities, private tertiary institutions have blossomed by focusing on employable courses such as Business Administration.

There are at least 15 major private universities and university colleges in Ghana as against about six major public universities. Other certificate and degree-awarding institutions run up the number of private tertiary education centers to at least 51.

Charging considerably higher fees, private universities have been attracting students keen on gaining employable skills.

Liberal Arts programmes have been shunned by private universities because they are believed to be unattractive to the job market.

Story by Ghana|myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]


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