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Education, skills should match industrial, economic development needs

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President of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Oluwatoyin Akomolafe


The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) and stakeholders in the education sector have advocated the need to match skills in the education sector to the needs of the economy.
   
According to the stakeholders, while the role education plays in the national development of any nation cannot be over-emphasized, no country can develop beyond her educational level. NACC President, Oluwatoyin Akomolafe said that the goal of the chamber was to see a reformed educational system that would improve the quality and efficiency of the entire value chain of the industry and other sectors.
  
“The realization of the economic development, advancement or independence of any nation is a function of the educational capacity of the working class or the decision makers of that nation.
  
“All over the world, Education has been recognized as a veritable and strategic venture pivotal to economic transformation of any nation. The significance of education is not only in the area of providing the much-needed human capital or resources but it also acts as an agent in developing the necessary technological tools and know-how for economic take-off”, he added.
   
On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the Federal Government says it has initiated intervention programmes that will up skill teachers with right tools to deliver quality education.Speaking on the theme: “Investment Opportunities in the Nigerian Educational Sector”, Nwajiuba, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Strategy, Planning and Development, Muna Onuzo, said that the intervention programmes was to ensure that the education sector was investment ready and at par with international standards.
  
He said that the ministry had identified a 10-point agenda as part of its Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) 2020 that would ensure that Nigeria sees remarkable improvement in its education sector.The minister said that some of the plan revolves around: reduction of out-of-school children; adult literacy; quality teacher development and engagement; expanded science, technical and vocational education, among others.

“This MSP 2020 agenda is in line with the vision of the Federal Government to make education and educationist an appealing profession and an industry that is investor worthy,” he said.Nwajiuba added that a sustainable process of monitoring and evaluation would deliver this agenda.
 
“Education is gold to any economy and teachers are the workmen who mine and refine this treasure.“In today’s highly integrated digital world, teachers are expected to be digitally complaint to enable them to impact the same knowledge to the young children under their care,” he said.       
Nwajiuba said government intends to change the nation’s education narrative by prioritising Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) training for teachers as a critical tool in National ICT education.
  
“This new approach starts with upgrading the teachers and then the Training Institutes and Colleges of Education to world-class ICT training centres.“This training will take care of the ICT skills need of all new teachers being churned out into the education sector by these centres of education,” he said.The minister said that efforts was ongoing to link university research with the industrial sector so that research findings could be commercialised to create jobs.

 


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NACCOluwatoyin Akomolafe
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