Scores of students at the College of Technology Education, Kumasi (COLTEK) grabbed the opportunity offered through a special entrepreneurship programme in the College to learn the skills of producing various items including toiletries, detergents and local non-alcoholic drinks. The March 8, 2018 event, organised by the Information Technology Students Society (INFOTESS) was to complement efforts already started by officialdom to ensure that all students from COLTEK got some entrepreneurial training before completing their respective programmes. Organisers sought the services of some industry players as well as personnel from the Catering and Hospitality Department at COLTEK to facilitate the training that was planned to last from 10am to 4pm on that fateful day. Specifically, the beneficiaries learnt to make liquid soaps, shower gels, disinfectants, yoghurt, and some local drinks.
President of INFOTESS, Mr. Abdul Mumin Sibawai said during an interaction with this reporter that as university students, it was incumbent on them to learn a skill that could guarantee their survival even if they completed their programmes and there was no avenue for immediate formal employment. He was full of praise to the College Management for making entrepreneurship integral part of every programme offered in the College. “INFOTESS could not think of any better project than following Management’s efforts in this area. Our hope as executives of INFOTESS is that beneficiaries would take the exercise very seriously and start preparing to zoom into mass production once they found themselves wanting in the job market after school”, he said.
The programme was fully financed from contributions of members of INFOTESS whose numbers are in excess of 1500. They intend to make this programme an annual affair so that gradually the wrong perception among Information Technology (IT) students particularly, that the business arena is a no go area for them, would be diffused. The Women’s Commissioner of INFOTESS, Miss Anita Otoo who spearheaded the organisation of the programme expressed the joy that many of the students turned out to participate in the exercise with enthusiasm.
During the 2016/2017 academic year, COLTEK started collaborating with industry to offer practical entrepreneurial training to its final year students so they (students) would not be overly reliant on seeking formal employment upon completion but open up their own businesses and employ others. This was the College’s effort toward helping to fight the cancerous graduate unemployment situation that has bedeviled the nation for years. Subsequently, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, the College organised a grand exhibition for the first batch of entrepreneurial trainees to showcase their products which included shoes, cake and liquid soaps, lotions and pomades as well as bead wares. The success from the first year motivated management to start planning for the expansion of the programme in terms of the trades in which students would be trained. The new areas include mobile phone repairs, barbering, hairdressing and sewing. Head of the Entrepreneurship Programme at COLTEK, Mrs. Richmell Baaba Amanamah hinted during an interview that efforts had started towards seeking funds for the establishment of a permanent center for the entrepreneurial training in COLTEK. She, therefore, called on capable individuals and institutions to support COLTEK in this effort so that the graduate unemployment situation in the country could be minimised. Meanwhile, INFOTESS is in the process of planning activities to mark the Society’s 2018 week-long celebration. Activities under consideration as at last Thursday included exhibition of Software Applications created by some of the students, Workshop on Video Editing, INFOTESS Artistes Night and Games.