Abia engages vocational education graduates
Abia State government has engaged relevant serving and retired professionals and technocrats to train a core of technical and vocational teachers that would in turn train students under its ‘Education For Employment’ programme.
The Coordinator and Chief Executive of the programme, which is also called ‘E4E’, Endi Ezengwa, while speaking with The Guardian in Umuahia during the stakeholders meeting with Vocational Education Trainers/Teachers, said that the new scope would encompass the entire South East zone.
He explained that the programme is anchored around apprenticeship which is aimed at equipping the graduates with skills that would not only facilitate their employment, but become self employed and possibly employ others.
He said that 44 Teachers are already available to train the over 35, 000 registered students and beckoned on serving and retired professionals with practical technical expertise to collaborate with E4E towards effecting a more comprehensive training strategy in order to achieve the full target as envisaged by the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
He said: “We are forming a core of Technical/Vocational Teachers to impart the skills on the targeted students to enable them on graduation, to meet our present and future needs. E4E is practical and not alternative to practicals, there are production units in all the Vocational schools in the state from which the schools would also generate revenue”
The guest lecturer at the occasion, Patrick Okeke, said technical/vocation graduates would not be employment-seekers, but business-seekers. He therefore lauded the state government for embarking on E4E, which he said was already in place in Anambra state.
Okeke urged the state government to set up production units in the Vocational Schools.
Okeke who hinged the high level of unemployment in the country presently on the abandonment of technical/Vocational education, said that there is presently a seeming conflict between conventional education and technical/vocational adding, “there has been no political will to convert technical/Vocational education curriculum into practice which acts as bridge between poverty and prosperity.”
In his response to the setting up of production units, Ezengwa said the Abia State Commissioner for Education, Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji had already directed such schools’ principals to submit quotations covering the needs of their Production units.