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Minister laments skills gap among graduates

By Kanayo Umeh and Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
25 November 2021   |   4:04 am
The Nigerian education system does not produce graduates with marketable and employable skills, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu has said.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu

The Nigerian education system does not produce graduates with marketable and employable skills, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu has said. 
 
The minister stated this at the National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) conference organised by his ministry with support from the German International Cooperation (GIZ).
 
The theme of the conference was: “Repositioning TVET through policy and the legislative option”.
 
The minister admitted that Nigeria is still faced with the challenges of skills gaps, especially in technical and vocational fields, which, he said, needs to be addressed urgently.
 


He said the government had approved the mandatory inclusion of trade subjects in the secondary school curriculum and entrepreneurship education in the tertiary education curriculum as part of efforts to bridge the gap.
 
He, however, lamented that most of the schools in the country lack competent teachers and instructional materials for the effective handling of the 37 trade subjects.
 
According to him, governments at all levels have also not demonstrated the required political will for the successful implementation of entrepreneurship education policies.
 
“Worst still, the entrepreneurship education courses being offered in many tertiary institutions could not energize the students’ entrepreneurial spirit and mindset for self-employment.
 
“Nigeria requires urgent and decisive actions to reposition TVET for technological advancement because the rapid industrialisation of several countries such as China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil and many others have been as a result of a well-articulated TVET policy aimed at developing relevant human capital.
 
“It has been realised over the years that the education system in Nigeria does not produce graduates with generic and essential skills because the curricula of our schools and tertiary institutions do not embrace marketable skills and the requirements of the workplace.
 
“Permit me to observe that the education system of any country is too strategic and sensitive to be treated like any other sector. The attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030 will be a mirage if it is not hinged on a solid TVET system,” Adamu exclaimed.

“We, as the policymakers, face a choice. The choice is whether we have the courage and political will to chart a better course for the educational advancement of our beloved country. And the decision cannot be delayed any longer”, he said
 
Adamu stressed the need for a curriculum that would equip graduates with the right set of skills to survive in a harsh economic environment, noting that as part of efforts to solve the massive unemployment problem in the country, the government had approved the institutionalisation of a six-level National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF).
   
He said the Innovation Development and Effectiveness on the Acquisition Skills (IDEAS) Project developed by the ministry in collaboration with the World Bank would make Nigerian graduates nationally and globally employable.
 
Earlier, country director, GIZ, Ina Hommers said the agency would continue to support the government in the promotion of technical and vocational education for the creation of wealth as well as national economic development.