Mrs Theodosia Jackson, the Principal of Jackson College of Education (JCE) is advocating a national policy that would encourage the youth to develop an interest in learning a vocation as a comprehensive strategy to address youth unemployment.
She said, the policy, if well implemented, would also ultimately address streetism which is one of the disturbing social cankers confronting the nation over the years.
“It is important as a country to create the environment for the teeming youth to learn one trade or the other to produce more artisans to drive industry and economic development”, she opined.
To achieve this, she said, technical and vocational education must be strengthened at the basic and second cycle levels to shape the ambitions of children as they climb the academic ladder.
“This is the time to build more technical and vocational schools to promote skills acquisition for those who may not be able to go beyond Senior High School to prevent the possibility of them ending up on the streets,” Mrs Jackson who is also a renowned counsellor, suggested.
She underlined the need for parents, teachers and other stakeholders to encourage students to develop their interest in vocations that suit their academic performance.
She spoke against the erroneous perception that technical and vocational education is for the academically weak and urged parents not to put impediments in the way of their children who want to learn a vocation as a career.
According to her, artisans are very creative and their contribution to national development could not be underestimated.
Mrs Jackson also advocated a system where professional artisans would be identified and empowered to train interested youth in various vocations to make them useful to society.
She added, much as the government deserves praise for implementing the Free Senior High School policy, it is equally important to create room for some of the SHS graduates who may not progress to the university to learn vocations in order not to make the investment made in them go down the drain.
“There are some children who are in SHS because it is free and even if they pass with distinction, they cannot pay for university fees; therefore, a provision must be made for such students to remain relevant to society”, she emphasized.