Experts link neglect of TVET to dearth of skilled manpower
Education experts have established a nexus between the perennial lip service paid (TVET) by successive governments, and the glaring dearth of requisite skilled manpower to address the country’s developmental challenges.
They also attributed the country’s inability to produce the all-important skilled manpower on the Nigerian society’s negative perception of technical careers.
Consequently, the education experts, who spoke at a meeting Monday in Abuja, where they charted the way forward for TVET, are calling on the Federal Government to step-up actions directed at promoting technical and vocation education in the country.
Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Hindatu Abdullahi, in her remarks noted that that technical and vocational education remains a critical area of the country’s educational system that can be used to address challenges relating to skills development and eradication of poverty.
Represented by the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department, Mr. Ifegu Oji, she said that over the years, various policies, including establishment of the National Vocational Qualification Framework, have attempted to place TVET on the front burner as the country strives to achieve overall national development.
According to her, the forum provides an avenue to brain-storm on emerging issues with a view to proffering ways of addressing the challenges of enrolment into technical colleges; selection and placement of students in technical trades in the federal science and technical colleges, and address compliance with the admission ratio of 70:30, skewed in favour of the technical trades as approved at the 60th meeting of the National Council on Education held in Abeokuta.
Director, Technology and Science Education, Mrs. Rosetta Isiavwe, in her welcome remarks recalled that technical colleges were established to provide technological training that would enable students to be self-reliant upon graduation.
She, however, said that the colleges have been bedeviled with a myriad of challenges, particularly in area of low enrolment figures; poor state of workshops; lop-sidedness in admission of students in favour of the sciences; dearth of qualified TVET teachers, and the lack of interest by youths to sit for NABTEB examination, among others.
She disclosed that as part of efforts to strengthen and promote technical and vocational education, a draft bill has been forwarded to the National Assembly for the establishment of a National Council for Vocational Education (NCVE), while all teacher training institutions have been directed to include technical and vocational skill components as general studies courses in teacher education curricula.
The meeting came up with far-reaching decisions after extensive deliberations. Some of them include strict technical colleges strict adherence to the admission policy of 30:70 ratio in favour of technical/trade subjects; reviving the Technical Teachers Training Programme (TTTP) domiciled in the National Teachers Institute, and bringing it back to the Department of Technology and Science of the Education Ministry, and sensitisation of parents and the students on the advantages of technical and vocational education, among others.