Trade Minster, Alan Kyerematen [Source: @AlanKyerematen on Facebook]

The Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, has called for more reforms in the country’s education sector in order to support government’s industrialisation agenda.

According to him, there is no debate about the fact that the most significant challenge confronting the country today is how to deal with the problem of unemployment.

He said available data indicate that every year, over 300,000 students graduate from tertiary institutions and enter into the labour market looking for jobs.

This excludes those terminating at the end of the second cycle of the educational ladder.

“If you position these statistics, against the background that public sector employment cannot exceed 700,000, then nobody needs to convince us that we have a major security challenge on our hands,” the Minister noted.

Whilst several factors may account for this unfortunate situation, Alan Kyerematen noted that a major part of the problem has to do with the mismatch between the nature and structure of Ghana’s education system on one hand and the development needs and priorities on the other hand.

Delivering an address as Guest Speaker at the 112th Founder’s Anniversary and Speech and Prize-giving day of Adisadel College, Saturday, he stressed that education must be pursued not as an end in itself but as a means to an end.

“The question we must be asking ourselves as a nation today is, Education for what purpose?” he quizzed.

He also added that while numeracy and literacy, which have characterised Ghana’s curricular are still essential to daily existence, “there is no gainsaying the fact that as a people, desirous of attaining the heights of development and economic progress, we need an urgent change in direction, if we are to be counted among the developed nations of the world.”

“At this crucial point in our nation’s history, when there is the call for emphasis on entrepreneurship and enterprise development to drive job creation, we must all embrace this policy shift in our education system, to release that ‘Can Do’ spirit in our youth, and generate that ground swell of opportunities that will send our nation to the next level of economic advancement.”

As an old student himself, the Trade Minister took the opportunity to eulogise alumni ‘Santaclausians’ who hold public offices, saying they are who they are because of the Adisadel spirit which is exemplified, among other things, by a sense of commitment and perseverance to succeed, a passion for excellence and a desire to enjoy life to the fullest.