The Federal Ministry of Education on Thursday expressed worry over lack of competent teachers and instructional materials for effective handling of Trade subjects in schools.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, disclosed this in Abuja at a National Workshop on “Repositioning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through Policy and Legislative Options for National Development’’.
The minister said that the 37 Trade subjects, which were already being offered as compulsory subjects in schools, lacked skilled teachers.
Adamu was represented by Mr. Masa’udu Kazaure, the immediate past Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
The minister commended the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for creating opportunity to reflect on the road travelled over the past decade and to plan for the journey ahead.
He also commended the context of skill development for the citizenry through sustainable policies and legislation.
“Presently, most of our schools lack competent teachers and instructional materials for effective handling of the 37 Trade subjects already offered as compulsory subjects in Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) since 2013.
“Worst still, the entrepreneurship education courses being offered in many tertiary institutions cannot energize the students’ entrepreneurial spirit and mindset for self-employment.
“It is another giant stride of the Federal Government on TVET in solving massive unemployment problem, diminish rural poverty and empower a larger percentage of the citizens.
“This was approved by the Federal Executive Council for the institutionalization of a six-level National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) in Nigeria and its placement in the Scheme of Service.
“The Ministry through NBTE developed 41 (forty-one) National Occupational Standards (NOS) and 95 qualifications covering eight (8) economic sectors of the country.
“Namely: Construction, Hospitality, Education & Care, Power, Service Industry, ICT, Agriculture and Manufacturing,” he said.
Adamu added that the ministry had taken far reaching measures on policy formulation and programme implementation to provide recipe for youths to survive in today’s harsh economic environment.
The minister said this would encourage the youths to be job creators instead of “certificate-carrying job-seekers.”
He called for more interventions in the area of special fund for TVET, just as we have TEFUND for vocational training to move forward in the country.
Adamu also said that the National Council on Education had approved the mandatory inclusion of trade subjects in secondary school curriculum and entrepreneurship education in tertiary education curriculum.
He said that the education system of any country was too strategic and sensitive to be treated like any other sector.
Adamu said, if that was not done; the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030 would be a mirage if not hinged on solid TVET system.
Also, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Sonny Echono, said the conference would serve as a foundation for TVET development, coordination and effective implementation.
Echono, represented by the Director of Human Resources in the ministry, Mr. David Gende, said there was an epic gap between the skilled manpower required and that which was currently available.
“Most of the graduates produced in various Universities of Technology, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education (Technical) and Technical Colleges nationwide do not have specific skills required for the job market (market relevant skills).
“The situation results to having millions of Nigerian graduates that are unemployed.
“This has created a shortfall of adequately skilled educated workforce which is one of the major constraints to the growth and development of our Nation.
“Therefore the present Administration’s emphasis is majored on TVET and skill acquisition is born out of the recognition that TVET is the bedrock of socio-economic growth and development of any nation,” he said.
In the same vein, the Head of Programme, Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE), Hans Bruns, said Nigeria was currently facing tremendous challenges in terms of sustainable job creation and productivity.
Bruns noted that the momentum of reform to achieve good results was now hence the need for rapid steps to provide quality vocational education to the high number of young people.
“It is worthy of note that the government of Nigeria has taken important steps in establishing the National Skills Council with the objective to develop skills for the nation through TVET.
“However, challenges are still remaining. Public education providers need to make education and training more relevant to the demand of private sector,” he said.
The Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan, called for more synergy between the public and private sector in addressing the issues of unemployment in the country.
Yemi-Esan, represented by the Director of Leadership, Management and Succession Planning, Mrs. Margaret Azeez, said the present administration was working towards up-scaling the manpower and well as providing conducive environment to meet the demand of work.
Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, Registrar, National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) called for the empowerment of teachers on technical skills to be able to teach and have best students in the various technical skills.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Ministry of Education and other federal ministries signed a declaration of cooperation in TVET for quality skills that will enhance youth employment in Nigeria
The two-day event will bring together TVET stakeholders from Government, the private sector, and international organizations to identify options and actions for an improved TVET system in Nigeria.
Highlights of the event includes presentations from key players from the private sector, NACCIMA, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, among others (NAN)