Technical, vocational education crucial to achieving vision 20:2020
Minister of Education, Mr. Ibrahim Shekarau has reiterated the imperativeness of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to the attainment of vision 20:2020.
Speaking at the 36th convocation ceremony of the Federal College of Education, (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, in which a total of 3, 682 graduands, drawn from the 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 sets received Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) certificates and National Certificate in Education (NCE) in various programmes, Shekarau said it was in recognition of this fact that the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration invested hugely in TVET.
Shekarau who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, said the country’s desire to be among the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020 requires training of a large chunk of her citizens to have requisite technical knowledge, skills and competencies for wealth creation and self-reliance.
He said, “TVET holds the key to the success of our countries desire to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020. That is why TVET enjoys robust support in terms of funding, instructional materials and equipment. Teachers and students in this field also benefit from government grants and scholarships in order to sustain and maximise the benefits.
“It is our policy to expose the budding teachers to technology education and make them more self-reliant and vocationally skilled enough to create wealth and check unemployment. In line with this mandate, government focused on TVET as the springboard for entrepreneurial skills as well as the bedrock for technological an economic development.”
He further stated that government also encouraged interventions from TETFund, PTDF, ADB, MDGs and STEP-B to ameliorate the difficulties and challenges militating against capacity building among teachers in colleges of education.
To the graduating students, he said, “Having passed through a school of this status, you must have acquired enough skills to enable you activate your hidden potentials and build your wealth or pursue further studies. I urge you to shun all forms of vices, violence and other unpatriotic acts that could lead to the disunity of our great country. Do not allow yourselves to be dragged into issues of ethnic rivalry or tribal sentiments as these negates the spirit of unity.”
Provost of the college, Dr. Sijibomi Olusola, in his remarks, assured that the college would not relent in its effort at providing sound technical and vocational education to students and empowering them with relevant entrepreneurial skills for the overall development of the nation.
Stating some of the modest achievements of the college through government and TETFund grants, he informed that the college was also facing land constraint and inadequate funding, both of which have affected its desire to expand and increase the carrying capacity.
He said, “Our mandate is to produce self-reliant technical and vocational graduates, grounded in information and communication technology, research and teaching that will impact positively on the technological and socio-economic development of Nigeria, and this we are gladly doing with our limited space and resources.”
Miss Adelakun Temitope Elizabeth, who emerged the overall best graduating student for the three sets, urged other students to endeavour to put in their best in their academics as “what is worth doing, is worth doing well.”