August 7, 2017 By: Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The council of Heads of Technical and Vocational Institution (CHTVI-SL) has on Thursday, 3rd August, 2017, inaugurated its new members that will steer the council’s leadership in the next three years.
Speaking during the inauguration at the British Council Hall in Freetown, chairman of the programme, Morris. S. Conteh, said the provision of technical and vocational education has a long history in the educational system of the country.
He said technical and vocational institutions have an integral part in the development of any country, adding that it equips people nationally in vocational skills with broad skills in work and life in society.
“Vocational training continues to strive, but Sierra Leone is doing less in its drive towards enhancing technical level,” he said.
Conteh stated that people mostly in the country neglect tech-voc education, forgetting that it is a non-formal education which has the potential of transforming lives in the same way formal education does.
“Not everyone can attain degrees and people must be able to blend theory and practice,” he said.
The Guest of Honour, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Matthew Timbo, spoke on the importance of technical and vocational training in empowering youth.
He said his ministry is geared towards empowering human resource development, employment and Labour policies in the country.
“Human development can be attained through formal and non -formal training which is also part of tech-voc drive,” Minister Timbo said.
He stated that the importance of tech-voc cannot be over emphasised as there is a huge skill gap, especially the middle -man power of the country.
He highlighted that between 2011-2014, employers in the mining industry encountered challenges with regards having Sierra Leoneans to operate bull dozers, graders, excavator operators, caterpillar operators, amongst others.
“The majority of youth in Sierra Leone are not employed because they do not have technical and vocational assets in them,” he said.
Also speaking during the inauguration ceremony was the Director of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), Nabie Mohamed Kamara, who stated that there is a bias against vocational institutions which is very destructive in making young people neglect the field.
“The government is supporting these vocational institutions with subventions and we have opened centres in Kambia, Pujehun,Massingbi,and Kono, ” Mr. Kamara said.
He assured the CHTV -SL of the government’s continuous support towards the success of their institution.
President, Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Jennings A.B. Wright, said technical learning should be treated seriously as the country needed semi- skilled labourers.
“We have lost everything and we must ensure we build the system back in the next five years,” he said.
He added that government should pay attention to the development of technical and vocational institution in the country.
President elect, Sally Lawson of the Council of Technical and Vocational Institution in Sierra Leone, thanked all those in diverse ways, helped elect her as president.
She said technical and vocational education is the backbone and middle level manpower in the development of Sierra Leone.
Mrs. Lawson pleaded more support for the development of CHTV-SL as she said there is nothing in the organizations coffer.
She highlighted that there was need for much emphasis and funding for CHTV-SL.