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Experts urge reengineering of curriculum to aid development




Stakeholders in technical and vocational education in Nigeria have noted that the country cannot make any headway in terms of development and growth in the economy if it does not make a proper investment in science, technical and vocational education (TVE), and reduce its dependency on the oil sector.

They made this declaration recently at the 36th Convocation Lecture of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, themed, “Evolving a Secure Non-Oil Dependent Economy- The Role of Science, Technical and Vocational Education”.

Speaking at the lecture, the chairman of the occasion and Director-General/Chief Executive Officer (DG/CEO), Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria N. Elemo said the earlier the country’s leaders start to live with reality of the turbulence occasioned by the unprecedented fall in the global price of crude oil, the better for them and critical in their quest to seek for an alternative way to grow the economy.

She said that this realization will assist the country in redirecting the course of her action, which includes the reengineering of its curriculum and laying more emphasis on a more sustainable sector to drive the national economy on the path of growth and sustainability.

According to her, “the nation is going nowhere in terms of development if we continue to neglect the TVE sector which is needed to drive the national economy especially through provision of skilled manpower to drive industrialization using the non-oil sector as the base.”

Noting that TVE sector has suffered serious setback in the country due to low status accorded it, Elemo however pointed out that the situation is not only limited to Nigeria.

She disclosed that countries who have progressed through education are now finding it difficult to sustain their development due to dearth in skilled workforce, thereby, engaging in programmes where they attract skilled workers to their countries from other nations to sustain the tempo.

The FIIRO boss thereby called for the tackling of this sort of dearth in the country’s system by redirecting focus to deliver on educational programmes that will produce benefit for individuals and the country as a whole.

“The overall goal of such new thinking would be an educational programme whose return on investment for the society would be to produce a skilled workforce that will enable global competitiveness and economic growth, while the return for the individual beneficiary would be an improved career path, increased earning power, and better quality of life with a view to promoting the overall wellbeing of the nation,” she said.

Elemo expressed displeasure that graduates of this sector prefer taking further degrees in Business Studies in order to be disposed to secure paid employments, and which is mostly as marketers and accountants in those organizations, adding that the bane of our economy which is import-based does not also help matters.

In her words: “No matter how lucrative this path may look like or may be, it is nothing but a path to doom. No nation can survive or develop without industrialization and you cannot industrialize without adequate skilled manpower.”

  • amador kester

    There is need to convert some polytechnics to functional technical or entrepreneurial universities especially first rate institutions like yabatech,kaduna poly,ibadan poly,auchi poly, ,,imt enugu etc to fast track the realization of the goals of technical skills education.This is a fundamental task for the incoming education minister

  • design

    There has to be a general paradigm shift in education for there to be development. Recent studies have shown that a Country’s development hinges on the levels and availability of craft men and women, who are the bolts and nuts and engines of sustainable technology development. In these days of youtube videos, there is no reason why our society should not be humming with skilled labor creating jobs in the process. I am opening an International Technical and Trade Institute (ITTI) to train men and women (most of them unskilled graduates) on technical and vocational skills. There is no need for engineering and science degrees in Nigeria now. There are no infrastructure or jobs to absorb these grads. Emphasis should be to convert all tertiary institutions to skills acquisition centers…graduate them…ask them to setup their outfits…employ people..then their future generatons can then study degreed engineering and science courses, then come back to improve or advanced what has been created. This is what has happened in Europe and Asia. We cannot continue to put the cart before the horse. We must learn to crawl before we walk in education.