We, participants of the 1st International Conference on Competency-Based Training and Research (CBTR), held at the College of Technology Education, Kumasi (COLTEK) of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in Ghana from 13th-15th September, 2017 under the theme: ‘Building the Next Generation of Technologists: The Competency-Based Training (CBT) Paradigm’, together with the following dignitaries in attendance:
- Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng Minister for Env., Science & Innovation
- Prof. Francis K. Allotey African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
- Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoa Ag. Executive Director for COTVET
- Prof. George Kankam Rep. for the Ag. Vice Chancellor, UEW
- Prof. (Ing) Reynolds Okai Principal, COLTEK,
and many other Ghanaians and international participants, indicated without equivocation that:
- We appreciate the contributions of Government, African Development Bank (AfDB) and Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) in promoting the course of CBT.
- The CBT paradigm fills the lacuna that exists between academia and industry
- The new approach is very relevant to National Development since it lays emphasis on skills training and development with industry involvement.
- We require a vision based on the next generation of technology to bring out the best talents in us.
- Time, like technology, moves very fast and we must respect it and move along with
- There is the need for all institutions and organisations to change their curricula to demand driven one.
- We need to change our attitude in order to harvest the best results of the next generation of technologists.
- We need to invest in Science, Technology and Research to make a good transition to industry.
- Hard work, motivation and education will unearth the best talents in us.
- CBT can change the negative image and description of our present day Africa.
- Keeping up with the required technology demands continual learning and research.
We however commit ourselves to carrying out the following:
- We are determined to carry out meaningful research amidst the limited available resources.
- We shall endeavour to support the relevant institutions to generate and set aside funds to promote research.
- Through the needed due processes, we will encourage and set aside part of internally generated funds to upgrade the capacities of lecturers/researchers.
- We all, will continue to support in providing the enabling environments for the full implementation of CBT through the provision of the needed resources.
That some challenges militating against the implementation and sustainability of the CBT programme exist. These include:
- Disparities in qualification standards within and among education and training sub-sectors.
- Persons under the CBT programme have placement issues with workplace experience learning due to the limited available industries.
- Low levels of investment in research, science and technology by government and other stakeholders.
- Aparthy of industry in responding to assisting tertiary institutions to draw their curricula in order to train and develop skills devoid of skill gaps.
- Our over reliance on the importation of some specific skilled labour and cheap goods outside our country.
With the above observations and challenges, we recommend that:
- Government, COTVET and other stakeholder should work quickly and timely to rectify the disparities in qualification standards within and among education and training sub-sectors
- Government and other stakeholders should increase their investment levels in research, science and technology to make training responsive to national demands and needs
- There should be a flexible legal regime to make industry and Government assist tertiary institutions to draw their curricula, train students to acquire the requisite employable skills for employment in industry and commerce.
- In collaboration with industry and other stakeholders, Government should pull resources together to unconditionally support the manpower development of tertiary institutions.
- Government and other private stakeholders in CBT should better motivate tertiary institution staff to implement and sustain CBT delivery to ensure the course of the national industrial development.
- African governments should listen to the advice of their national scientists and researchers to speed up development
- African tertiary and pre-tertiary institutions should realign their curricula with CBT standards and technology.
We conclude that:
The age of globalisation has come, where we need to access information, adopt new systems of education that emphasise on rational thinking, creativity, imagination and innovation for all. To have competitive urge, we need to train young people to seriously get involved in automation, computer software and hardware engineering. There is therefore need for urgent action by government and stakeholders to fix the challenges today to help change our generation for better jobs and opportunities in the future, while promoting the course of CBT.
Prof. (Ing) Reynolds Okai
Signed: For and on behalf of the Conference