Experts hinge national prosperity on technical, vocational education
Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji (FEDPOLEL) Prof. Adedayo Fasakin has urged all tiers of government to focus more on technical and vocational education to reduce unemployment and create national prosperity.
Fasakin said this at the First Foundation Day Lecture of the institution with the theme: “Building Entrepreneurial and Self-Reliant Graduates Through Technical and Vocational Education.”
He stressed that entrepreneurship education was the global drive for development and urged the government to make it mandatory for all institutions to salvage the scaring statistics of unemployed youths in the country.
He said he was surprised to note that when the FEDPOLEL recently advertised 50 vacancies for employment opportunities over 12, 000 unemployed graduates applied for the jobs.
“This trend is dangerous and must be reversed. This is why entrepreneurship education is mandatory and why it should be the concern of every focused and sensitive 21st century polytechnic,” he said.
The Guest Lecturer and Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin noted that youth unemployment in the country had become a critical issue with massive implications for the economy.
“As at today, more than 25 million graduates of formal institutions are unemployed with more than 1.5 million graduates joining the labour market every year,” he said.
Gbadegesin pointed out that most governments across the world have resorted to entrepreneurship, vocational and technical education to create employment and socio-economic opportunities for their people.
He added that some of the obstacles against a national development include failure to distinguish between entrepreneurship, technical and vocational education and shortage of lecturers with practical trainings.
Others are inadequate government funding, obsolete facilities and equipment, lack of functional school curricula and poor quality of top management personnel, among others.
Gbadegesin charged the Federal Government to release adequate funds for the institutions to enable them embark on research, infrastructure development, as well as Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).He however, implored all institutions to identify and embrace synergies between entrepreneurship and TVET as complimentary skills to achieve immediate and future goals.
“The curriculum in entrepreneurship and vocational training should be local, state and national industries-driven in order to respond to societal needs and develop local content in the country,” Gbadegesin added.