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Sanwo-Olu urge citizens to stop stigmatising students in technical colleges

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As the world commemorates World Skills Day, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called on the citizenry to change the negative perception they have about students in technical and vocational institutions across the country but should see them as students who toll the right path to achieve qualitative learning.

Sanwo-Olu, who urged for a resilient citizenry, restated his commitment to ensuring the state leads the conversation on Sustainable Development Goal 1 (SDG 1) in eliminating poverty and job creation in the country.

Speaking on “The New Normal: Implications of COVID-19 on Jobs and Future Skills Development”, during a virtual meeting organised by the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Sanwo-Olu, spoke on the measures put in place by the government to achieve a significant increase in the number of students in technical colleges.

He disclosed that the state is targeting to train over 8,000 students in a few years, who will be skilled to be placed in decent jobs.

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In her remarks, Executive Secretary of LASTVEB, Ms Ronke Azeez, said the celebration reminded the populace on the importance of skilling the younger generation for a decent education, decent work and entrepreneurship, especially now that Nigerians are grappling for jobs.

She said it gives the Board the opportunity to discuss the way forward with its partners and to review the plans made before COVID-19.

She highlighted three challenges that must be urgently addressed for a better technical and vocational institution in Lagos State.

Among them, she said is the negative perception people have given to technical and vocational education, stressing that the institution is a path that young person can take to achieve learning and also fulfil their dreams.

She also identified the challenges on the use of data for education and continuous reskilling of teachers to be up-to-date for effective service delivery.

Azeez maintained that the need to have data for education was pertinent for the Nigerian child to be competitive globally.

“We must ensue teachers do not remain with skills of yesterday, rather we must ensure they are experts of today’s and future skills. It requires reorientation and continuous retraining to make sure that they are ready for the future and post-COVID-19.

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“During the period we have trained our teachers on how to teach online and they have had the experience on how to develop content online. We have developed a learning platform for technical education and partner with organisations specifically for online training for technical and vocational education,” she said.

The Lead Speaker and Co-founder of AACE Food Processing and Distribution, Ndidi Nwuneli, said there is the need for agile and transparent government, dynamic entrepreneurs and skilled workforce with the requisite life and leadership skills for productive yields.

She also called decisive actions and broad-based collaborations from governments and organisations to equip the youths digitally to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

She challenged Lagos State government to lead the conversation on eliminating poverty and job creation in Nigeria by 2030, with the lowest unemployment rate.

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