The minister of Education has announced that government intends to upgrade certificates from basic and second cycle schools into diplomas but this move will not yield the job opportunities the government thinks it would.
The sector minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, believes that the upgrade would facilitate employment opportunities for the graduates from Junior High Schools (JHS) and Senior High Schools (SHS).
It is strange that government wishes to sell the idea of the upgrade as a point of employment opportunities. It will not be strange to see later conversations scale back the expectations of the upgrade.
The intention behind the upgrade may be good but that it would see diploma holders being successfully employable is impracticable.
Here are some reasons why it will not work.
1. There are no jobs
This sounds like an excuse many lazy people throw out there but if we want to be honest, it is true. More and more low-level jobs in Ghana are being filled with tertiary qualification holders.
One then wonders what space is left for those coming out of the JHS and SHS. It is hard to see how a diploma would suddenly create employment space.
2. Education at that level does not give employable capacities
In fairness, the minister said that government is looking to strategise education at the JHS and SHS levels so as to make young people employable.
The only problem is that at that age, the majority of young folks are only looking to pass examinations. These examinations set the tone for the rest of their lives.
To push these young ones into trying to learn for a job is a risk that the government has to take a second look at.
3. Wage, remuneration and benefits
This particular point is linked to the first one. The questions that can be asked of the government is that, if 15-year-olds are employed, can they join unions, pay mandatory insurance as well as taxes?
All these have to be sorted out and it is going to be complex.
4. It is a redundant move
Young people are already getting employed with their West African Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) and their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) qualifications.
But when you listen carefully to the Education minister, you would think that was not the case. It is hard to see how a change in qualification name can make someone employable.
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