Stakeholders harp on skills acquisition at education summit
Stakeholders at the maiden education summit in Ogun State have advocated greater emphasis on vocational studies and skills acquisition as viable option to put the country back on the path of development.
They further posited that it was not enough for education to be qualitative, but must be affordable.
Scores of government officials, educationists, university scholars and development partners converged on the Abeokuta Cultural Centre for the two- day summit.
In his paper titled: “Baseline and Assessment,” Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede harped on skills development, adding that qualitative education must be encouraged in the pursuit of excellence.
While stressing the importance of skills acquisition, he said the economy could not sustain the workforce if government wins the ongoing fight against corruption.
He noted that a permanent secretary who earns N100,000 monthly for instance, was not relying on his salary but the perks of office.
“The economy cannot sustain the workforce, you help candidates for admission and when the student completes his education and finishes, you are also approached to assist with a job. It is not sustainable, especially when the campaign against corruption is on.
“It is not the N100,000 the permanent secretary takes home that makes him the PS but the corruption associated with the office,” he said.
He pointed out that as corruption was being eliminated, white collar jobs would become less attractive; and what makes them attractive was the money involved.
“Therefore, let us improve on skills. Skill acquisition should be considered as curriculum and not as extra curriculum,” he added.
Olojede also tasked the Ogun State government to set up an Education Trust Fund that would focus on funding the education of indigent students.
He also called for the establishment of a Tertiary Admission Monitoring Committee (TAMC) that would ensure that their quota is filled in its catchment area.
Oloyede further enjoined schools in the state to be more competitive in research and funding rather than rely on federal character.
An associate professor at the Pan African University, Dr. Doyin Salami canvassed improved funding for the education sector while lamenting that only eight percent was budgeted for education in this year’s Federal budget.
He lamented the performance of Ogun State in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination, saying the state was ranked 19 out of 36 states.