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World Bank’s skills acquisition programme takes off in Abia

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Students undergoing a skill acquisition programme. Source: STV

• Ikpeazu inaugurates steering committee
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has set into motion the implementation of the Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project, targeted towards giving the youths in the state qualitative education that would make them more employable and employers of labour.
The World Bank grant-aided programme is being implemented in six states, namely Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, and Kano on pilot basis.

The project is similar to the Abia State Education for Employment (E4E) programme, which is coordinated by Endi Ezengwa, who is also a member of the state IDEAS Steering Committee, inaugurated yesterday, under the Chairmanship of the State Education Commissioner, Dr Kanelechi Nwangwa.

Inaugurating the nine-member steering Committee, Ikpeazu tasked members to strive to follow the stipulated guidelines, and make it another successful programme like the state E4E and Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO).

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The Governor recalled that his administration had in its quest to effect practical functional educational system, set up the E4E  programme to avail youths with paper qualifications the opportunity to acquire additional practical skills to qualify them to fill existing vacancies in corporate organisations and other establishments, and also be self reliant.

For the practical skills training, he said his government embarked on the rehabilitation and reequipping of a Technical College located in each of the three senatorial zones – Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia, wherein youths undergo necessary skills acquisitions.

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He also granted the necessary wavers for technical teachers to be recruited in the state.

Speaking on behalf of others, the Committee Chairman, Nwangwa, commended the governor for domesticating the IDEAS Programme at this time that his government has speeded up its drive for massive state developmental activities. These are targeted at boosting the state potentials and endowments, described the program as an opportunity to “contribute to the incubation of a generation of skilled and employable Abians that will support the ongoing industrial revolution of the state.”

Also commenting, the initiator of the State E4E programme and member of the Committee, Ezengwa told The Guardian that the selection and inclusion of Abia in the IDEAS pilot scheme may have been informed by the success it recorded in YESSO, E4E, and other social development and youth empowerment programmes.

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