The Federal Government has expressed worries that in spite of the rising unemployment in the country, students enrolment into technical and vocational education courses have remained low.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said on Wednesday that it was unfortunate that many Nigerians after graduation remain either unemployed or underemployed with little or no skills to contribute to the economic development of the country, noting this skill gap was meant to be addressed by technical and vocational education.
Adamu spoke while declaring open a workshop on “Developing A Proper Institutional Strategic Plans,” organised by the National Board For Technical Education (NBTE) in collaboration with Paceset Associates.
He identified low public perception as one of the biggest challenges confronting Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), adding that TVET remains a veritable pathway to success.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, Tertiary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Ilyasu Rakya said, “Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) face multiple challenges in Nigeria which are compounded by low public perception of the sub-sector in the society.
“TVET institutions are responsible for implementing programmes that equip students with the relevant skills and competencies to meet the needs of the labour markets.
“In all, Nigeria has a total number of 171 Technical Colleges, 108 Polytechnics, 61 Mono-technics, 98 VocationalEnterprise Institutions (VEls) and 150 Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEI), equipping learners with technical and vocational skills through formal and non-formal channels,” he said.
He said there were many other challenges that need to be addressed in order to reverse this trend and reposition TVET for national growth, hence the Federal Ministry of Education through the NBTE is intensifying effort in imparting knowledge, skills and attitude to provide a practical and hands-on experience with a view of opening doors to career opportunities and improve Technical and Vocational skills of polytechnic graduates.
On his part, the Acting Executive Secretary of NBTE, Mr Ekpenyong E. Ekpenyong, said the workshop became necessary in order to equip the heads of institutions with basic skills and the strategic plan they would pass to their various institutions in order to achieve the mandate which is the training of qualified individuals that could be able to service all the other areas of the economy.
“We believe that if the strategic plan is well set and relevant institutions act on the processes which they have adopted for themselves the sector will be strengthened,” he said.