‘Why we are rehabilitating vocational training institutions’
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has explained its investment in the rehabilitation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) because the centres provide platforms for job creation and self-empowerment.
The NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, who disclosed this in Akwa Ibom while handing over woodwork and carpentry workshops the Board renovated and upgraded to the state government at the Government Technical College, (GTC), Abak, Akwa Ibom State, said the development of skilled technicians drives the socio-economic growth aspirations of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and engages youths in productive ventures.
Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, commissioned the facility.
The NCDMB scribe emphasized the need to provide high-quality manpower training and skills development for the teeming youths in the country, which was why the Board undertook a study of TVETs in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers state to understand the factors militating against the optimal performance of those institutions.
He mentioned that the Board had finalised plans for the implementation of a public-private partnership in collaboration with Akwa Ibom State and a specialist modern furniture production firm, owned and managed by an indigene of the Abak community, in which a certain percentage of the proceeds will be ploughed back for the operational maintenance of the facilities to achieve self-sustenance.
He thanked all stakeholders for the zero-incidence recorded and the hospitality the Abak community extended to the contractors and personnel.
The Executive Secretary decried the low level of students’ enrolment into TVETs institutions, which is less than one per cent of the total enrolment in conventional secondary schools.
Noting that youths make up more than 50 per cent of the nation’s population, he regretted that the nation is yet to fully harness its potential in driving economic growth as many young people are faced with challenges ranging from lack of practical skills, unemployment and illiteracy, among others.
He also challenged youths of the country to acquire marketable skills and competencies that will position them to overcome the high rate of poverty, social vices, unemployment and underemployment in the country.
He hinted that harnessing and refocusing the creative energies of youths to productive endeavours through aggressive skills development training in various relevant trades will foster sustainable development.
In his remarks, the Governor commended the Board for partnering with the state to renovate and upgrade the technical facility to create job opportunities for skilled manpower, which illustrates patriotism and commitment to national development.
He asserted that the project was in line with the administration’s industrialization policy of taking youths off the street through efficient skills acquisition and empowerment, and an incubation process of converting these skills into entrepreneurial gains and self-reliance.
The Executive Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board, (ASTEB), Godwin Udom also stated that the cardinal objective of technical schools is to train persons in diverse practical fields, adding that such schools needed standard and well-equipped workshops with specialised instructors in different trade areas.
Udom expressed gratitude to NCDMB for the project, noting that the project which commenced on January 27, 2019, was now ready for the students to acquire modern skills in furniture making and for the staff to update their knowledge and also assist the unemployed in the community.
The Principal-General of GTC, Abak, Friday Udoka also expressed appreciation to NCDMB for choosing the school for its demonstration of technical education advancement.He pledged to ensure that the facilities would be put to maximum use, for the improvement of knowledge and skills of students and staff.