Dr Kofi Abotsi, Dean, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School, has called on stakeholders to engage the youth while making decisions in the education sector.
Dr Abosti stressed the involvement of the youth was necessary because the transformative part of education, and the failures of education impact directly on the youth.
A statement issued by Mrs Theodora W. Anti of the National Network of Youth Groups in Governance (NNYoG) and copied to the Ghana News Agency said Dr Abotsi made the call in a presentation at a Youth forum in Accra on the theme: “Creating and Strengthening Safe Spaces for Youth Participation in Decision Making”.
It was organised by NNYoG with support from the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) and Oxfam in Ghana.
Speaking on the topic: “Youth Participation in Decision making: a Necessity for Accountability in Quality Education Provision in Ghana,” Dr Abotsi emphasised that young people were the biggest beneficiaries and losers of any system of education and therefore must be interested in what goes on in the education sector.
He said given the global competitiveness in employment today it was imperative that Ghana’s education system positioned the Ghanaian youth as a ‘preferred skilled candidate for employment and entrepreneurship’.
The Dean accused Ghanaian educated elites and the youth of apathy and aloofness, leaving education in the hands of politicians.
He said since 1987, Ghana, which had the best of educational system and schools in West Africa, ‘has gone downhill’ especially in the area of skills training.; adding that the lack of focus on skills training was a major cause of the country’s unemployment challenge.
Dr Abotsi encouraged young people to rise and play active role to shape Ghana’s education system; declaring that Ghana desperately needs a non-partisan plan and approach to education reforms.
“Even though government may have good intention, because they will not be in power forever, it is imperative the youth from all backgrounds participate,” he said.
He challenged the youth not to wait for opportunities to be given to them but to take every available chance to make their voices heard in the governance of education.
He said ‘education is the biggest factor of change in our country and governance, and the way to get back what we have lost is for the youth to rise and influence policy’.
The forum brought together youth groups from all 10 regions of Ghana.
Dignitaries present at the forum include Mr Emmanuel Asigri, Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA); Mr Kojo Asemanyi, Secretary, Ghana Chapter of the Young Parliamentarians Forum and Mrs Abigail Larbi Odei, Programme Manager at the Media Foundation for West Africa.
The NNYOG comprises of over thirty governance focused youth groups and youth coalitions in across the country.
NNYOG is as an advocacy group for youth and national development policy issues with a mandate to improve and increase young people’s participation in the development of our country.