Africa

Ghana private universities 'cause unemployment'

Moses Asaga - Ghana's employment minister Image copyright Ghana government
Image caption Moses Asaga the jobs market is saturated with sub-standard graduates

Ghana's minister for employment has blamed private universities for high levels of graduate joblessness.

These institutions take mediocre students who graduate with sub-standard qualifications, Moses Asaga said.

He was responding to complaints by the Ghana's Trades Union Congress about the government's failure to create jobs.

Stephen Adei, a private lecturer, told the BBC these views were "totally wrong" as private universities were affiliated to mainstream institutions.

The government says it has created 1.7 million jobs in the last three years and that the economy is booming, but no official employment statistics exist, Ghanaian journalist Sammy Darko told the BBC.

'Complex situation'

Rebuffing the unions' criticism, Mr Asaga said private universities have saturated the market with sub-standard graduates.

At one university there were more than 1,000 undergraduates who were not even qualified to enter the institution, he said.

"It's because of the proliferation of university colleges in this country... admitting mediocre students," Mr Asaga said.

"Everybody comes out with the psychology that I've have graduated from a university, when in actual fact even if you follow the grades people are getting those people would not be calling themselves as qualified university graduates."

Prof Adei - a lecturer at Pentecost University College in the capital, Accra - said the minister had also failed to understand a "complex situation".

He told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that at the moment only 6% of young people go to university in Ghana.

"At our level of development between 15-20% should go into tertiary schools," he said.

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