By Nicholas Osei-Wusu
All schools under the supervision of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training Service in the Ashanti region are to be installed with 24-hour security surveillance systems before the end of the 2023–2024 academic year.
This is part of measures adopted by the GTVET Service to closely monitor the behaviour, particularly students on campus, towards addressing the canker of rowdyism in those institutions.
The Ashanti Regional Director of the Service, Richard Addo Gyamfi, announced this in Kumasi during an interaction among members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council, REGSEC, and members of the Kumasi Technical Institute.
Student disturbances have been recurring in technical and vocational institutions in the Ashanti region for some years now.
The Kumasi Technical Institute (K.T.I), has gained notoriety for this.
The most recent such occurrence was recorded on May 17, 2023, during which some school property were damaged compelling the authorities to send home about 500 of the students temporarily for their alleged involvement.
In a similar development, the Ashanti REGSEC had to order a closedown of the Krobea Asante Technical Institute at Asokore in the Sekyere East district for a similar incidence early this year.
The Ashanti REGSEC had to swiftly intervene in all such cases to avert the escalation of the situations and has since been working behind the scenes to ensure academic activities on schools’ campuses run seamlessly.
It is against this background that members of the REGSEC paid a visit to the KTI to interact with both staff and students and also to learn firsthand some of their concerns for redress.
The Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Training and Education Service did not take kindly to the unenviable record of students of technical and vocational institutions in the region as being rowdy.
The Regional Director, while commending the REGSEC for the prompt interventions in all the disturbances, disclosed that pragmatic measures are being deployed to monitor students behaviour on campus.
“We’ve installed CCTV cameras at K.T.I. to track and report any crime and other bad practices for redress on time. We’ve also managed to let all students sign bonds to be of good behaviour as part of measures to avoid such incidents in the near future. I’m highly pleased to inform you that plans are far advanced to replicate these measures in all TVET institutions to commit our students to sign bonds to be of good behaviour coming this 2023-2024 academic your to mitigate any dispute or misbehaviour on the part of our students,” Mr. Addo Gyamfi emphasised.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, who is also the Chairman of the REGSEC, in admitting the challenges of the KTI, emphasised the commitment of government to making technical and vocational education and training the key to Ghana’s development, hence the substantial investment in the sector. The REGSEC Chairman asked the students to always ponder carefully about the consequences of their actions and inactions instead of following their colleagues blindly.
Mr Osei Mensah, recounting his own difficult days at the Jachie-Pramso SHS in the ’70s, advised, “some people, their backgrounds might even be worse than mine, when I was young. Some of them, when they go back home, getting two square meals or even one meal is a problem. But they follow their colleagues, when you’re dismissed, that’s the end of you. There are some of them, when they’re dismissed today, their parents can take them outside and get another educational system for them. But you, if you’re from a humble beginning like me, think about yourself.”
The Principal of K.T.I., Gabriel Osei, expressed concerns about not only the occasional disturbances on campus that disrupt teaching and learning but also the acute infrastructural and human resource challenges in the face of a huge students’ population of more than 4,400.
During the visit, members of the Ashanti REGSEC, led by its Chairman, Simon Osei Mensah, were conducted around some of the practical training facilities at the Institute to familiarise themselves with the reality on the ground.
The Regional Minister pledged to assist the Institute’s Cadet Corps with some of their instruments as well as liaise with the Ministry of Education for solutions to some of their needs.