In a bid to develop the nation’s middle manpower base, the Jonathan administration is expending N15billion to develop laboratory and workshop facilities in all the 51 Federal and State Polytechnics across Nigeria, Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has stated.
Declaring open the Regional Forum for Africa on Advancing Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Abuja organized by the Federal Ministry of Education, UNESCO and International Centre for Technical Education and Training, UNEVOC, on Tuesday, Wike stated that the Jonathan administration took the action to ensure that more Nigerian youths have skills that would qualify them for employment in view of increasing local and foreign direct investments.
Wike said: “Presently all the 51 Federal and State Polytechnics have benefitted from the development and rehabilitation of their laboratories at the cost of N15 billion. This includes the training of staff in each of these institutions to ensure that they can operate the modern teaching-learning equipment and materials that have been installed. In addition to these, approval has been given for the rehabilitation of our Technical Colleges to the tune of six billion Naira in the first instance.”
The Minister noted that to further support the development of technical and vocational education and training, TVET, the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) has been approved by the Federal Executive Council. National Occupations Standards are being developed in a number of industrial areas including Manufacturing, Construction, ICT, Hotel & Hospitality, and Agriculture.
He said: “Our commitment to the development of TVET in Nigeria is further capped in the inauguration by Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, of a Government-Private Sector Committee on the development of TVET. This is chaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. The Committee is aimed at ensuring private sector input in the development of TVET considering that they employ most of the products of TVET”.
He stated that the international conference on TVET was timely because it was being held at a time the nation was re-positioning her economy through human capital development.
“In addressing skills development through TVET, we must recognise the importance of continuously gathering and sharing ideas so as to enhance success. Creating employment for our youths and ensuring sustainable development must be a priority for all our societies. The first step towards this is ensuring that our youths have the requisite skills to support our industries”, he said.
In her remarks, Ms. Dagmar Winzier of UNESCO-UNEVOC stated that the African regional forum is targeted at developing TVET as means of generating youth employment in the country.
Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education, Dr. Masa’udu Kazaure commended the Federal Government for its heightened attention to TVET, saying that his board has working assiduously as the implementation agency of the administration.
The African Regional Forum on TVET attracted participants from nine countries in Africa, UNESCO and different international development partners.