Students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) have made an appeal to the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to make industrialization and job creation a major priority in Ghana’s 40-year development Plan. They contended that the knowledge based education system was a contributing factor to the graduate unemployment rate in the country and therefore proposed to the NDPC to make a paradigm shift from that and focus more on technical and vocational skills education.
This they believed would help produce graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise for the industries to expand the economy to create jobs and also to unlock the numerous resources that existed in the country. The students made the appeal when the NDPC interacted with them as part of the Central Regional Consultative forum on the Long-Term National Development Plan held in Cape Coat on Tuesday. The forum was to enable the NDPC collect and collate opinions from all stakeholders in order to prepare a long-term national development framework to facilitate the future transformation of the nation.
The students, who were very passionate about their appeal, stressed that there was the need for the NDPC to create a partnership between educational institutions and industries such that there would be ready employment for fresh university graduates. Dr. Isaac Mensa-Bonsu Director PCD of the NDPC, the Director-General of NDPC explained that there was the need to adopt a long-term plan that successive governments would be committed to, to ensure continuity in the country’s development process. He mentioned human capital, public sector reform/modernization, land reforms, infrastructure, energy, science, technology and innovation as well as attitudinal change as some of the drivers of the vision but stated that it needs strong will and the desire to succeed. He justified the selection of 40 years saying “Ghana will be 100 years in 2057, and that would be a major milestone for the citizenry to celebrate their achievements”. Dr. Ato Quarshie the NDPC’s Central Region Representative who chaired the ceremony, said a long term development plan was necessary to make Ghana competitive and bring about explicit oriented development.