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Technical Education: The Way Forward

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Technical and Vocational Education as seen in the National Policy on Education (2004), has been defined as those involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life.  Therefore, technical and vocational education is based on:  Providing trained manpower in applied science, technology and business particularly at craft, advanced craft and technical levels.

Providing the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial and economic development.

Giving training and impart the necessary skills to individuals who shall be self-reliant, economically. (NPE, 2004).

From the outlined objectives, can we say that they are implementable in our TVET institution? The policy issues have been documented, but how many of these, have been given its place in the Nigerian TVET institutions? What this synopsis seeks to examine is the place of  Technical, Vocational Education and Training in the Nigerian TVET institutions.

An overview of TVET in the Nigeria institutions reveals that, TVET is still at the state of theoretical, but not practical. TVET institutions emerged with the purpose of training the young minds, but end up not achieving their purpose; for instance, the government is aware that only limited facilities exist in the Technical Colleges and Universities yet, neither comment nor action is made to achieve the goal of TVET stated by them. Most academic institutions suffer so many set-backs in terms of infrastructure like inadequate accommodation for learning, lack of post-graduate classrooms or lecture theatre, lack of functional facilities for learning, etc in terms of manpower, there are limited staff in the institutions, at times they end-up not being processional; the graduate-assistants are used more than required, just to meet-up with the demands of job in these institutions. Though the knowledge is exploding, but the equipment to practice with becomes a challenge.

Another challenge here is that the mind-set of parents and the community at large is very negative towards TVET, because of lack of adequate orientation and public enlightenment of what TVET entails in the society. The society believes that such occupations as medical, law, engineering and other big-named occupations, place people on  better occupational opportunities than the vocational occupations. Because of this, TVET is looked down at, and indeed it is an obstacle to improve the social statusquo of TVET. This being the case, Osinem (2006) opined that the challenges are to create vocational programmes that deliver professionally successful graduates.

However, TVET institutions should take it as pride to show-case TVET to the society and its value. In the western world, TVET graduates are queued for, to be employed, because the society knows their value. Let the institutions, role out this enlightenment and see if they will not have more boost than ever imagined.

The concept of  Vocational Training differs from technical, vocational education and training. Vocational training involves the informal development of practical skills, knowledge and altitudes by imitation, observation or incidental participation under a master or graduate unlike the TVET, Vocational  Training is not systematically organised, but geared towards informal skill acquisition which is not our focus.

From the foregoing, it is pertinent to understand absolutely the following roles of  TVET in national development if properly placed in the TVET institutions.

TVET is highly instrumental to a buoyant modern economy, by way of rapid growth development, skilled personnel in agriculture, construction, commerce and others.

TVET can meet the manpower needs of Nigeria by planning and providing programmes which result in satisfied employee and employer in those needed occupation, thereby fulfilling its economic role in the nation. TVET fosters creativity in students. TVET a is form of Education which emphasises the development of occupational skills needed as preparation for work.

Therefore, the TVET institutions should be adequately taken care of by funding the TVET centres, employ more professional staff, rehabilitate and provide more facilities (equipment/personnel) for learning, organise and sensitise the masses on the importance of TVET including its vocational opportunities opened to its graduates after school and so on.  By doing these, I believe that TVET shall have a best place or place value in our TVET institutions, and they shall do better than expected in our society.

Ajie wrote in from Port Harcourt.

Godstime Uche  Ajie

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Education

Centre Wants Govts To Update School Curriculum

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The Centre for Distance Learning, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, has urged governments at all levels to update school curriculum in tune, with the realities of the new normal.
A Deputy Director in the University, Dr Abdullahi Bashir, made the call at the National Teachers Conference organised by Maltina Teacher of the year, on Friday, in Yola, with the theme:  ”Classroom Without Border; The New Normal.”
Bashir said that the current school curriculum needed to be revisited in the light of current developments in the education sector caused by technology and current global realities.
He said this would help to improve the standard of education in the country and enable students compete with their peers around the world.
Bashir also stated the need for governments to look into teachers’ welfare with a view to align their remuneration with doctors, engineers and other professions.
In her remarks, Adamawa Commissioner for Education,Mrs Wilbina Jackson, appreciated the efforts of the organizsers for their contributions to education development in the country.
Jackson, who was represented by Executive Secretary, Post Primary Education Management Board,Mrs Maryam Abubakar, charged teachers to impact positively on the life of their students to succeed in future.
According to her, the world is moving towards technology, hence the need to encourage students to embrace it in order to succeed.
Mrs Christable Malachia, who spoke on behalf of the participants, said the conference was timely, as they had learnt a lot, having been exposed to how to relate well with the students, parents and other staff, as well as how to be good mentors.

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Admission: College Begs JAMB For Waiver On Technical Courses

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The Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka Lagos, has requested the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to grant it a waiver in technical courses.
The Provost of the institution, Dr. Wahab Azeez, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Lagos said that such waiver would attract more prospective students to the college.
Azeez was speaking against the backdrop of the poor enrolment of students in the college.
He explained that the idea was to create openings to attract school certificate holders to the college and build a career in technical education.
“Enrollment has not been encouraging and we are not silent on it.
“So, what we did was to approach JAMB to give us a wave in certain technical and vocational courses.
“We are hopeful that our request will get positive response from JAMB and it will throw opportunity for more students to register for technical or vocational courses in our college.
“Technical and vocational education is where the money is.
“Students who finish from the college may not necessarily look for a paid job because of the training they have acquired,’’ he expressed.
According to him, part of efforts to project the image of the college, was to reach out to the ministry of education with the purpose of having direct access to technical Secondary Schools.
Azeez explains that the college teaches related vocational subjects, which serve as foundation for students, who may want to settle in the field.
“Five technical schools are here in Lagos, including our FCE, Technical, which prompted our visit to the Lagos Commissioner for Education.
“The focus is more on technical teaching, where our seasoned lecturers take them through oral, practical rudiments of vocational education and inculcate in them, self reliance,’’  he said.
Azeez said that infrastructural developments, researches, academics, welfare, administration and social activities would continue to be prioritised, in order to make the learning environment conducive for students and staff.
According to him, construction of buildings for lectures, programmes and staffroom are ongoing, as part of measures to upgrade and bring the institution to an amiable state.
He said that under his administration, the science complex was being constructed and would be equipped with modern laboratory materials for the teaching of sciences and computer studies.
“Also, part of the ongoing constructions in the college is a technical workshop.’’
The management has equally taken steps to address issues of security water projects, he added.
The provost expressed optimism that the ongoing amendment bill on the Act that established the college, now at the National Assembly, would lead to the upgrade of the institution to a Federal University of Technical Education.

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CEAPoly: Governing Council Chairman Lauds Members, Rector On Commitment

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The Governing Council of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic (CEAPOLY) has been described as one of the best in the comity of governing councils in the various institutions Rivers State.
Chairman of the council, Senator Lee Maeba, stated this during at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the two storey governing council building complex at the insititution in PortHarcourt, recently.
Maeba, who noted that the governing council of the institution was committed to the progress of the institution, said it remained unwavered even in the faces of the challenge of a building for members’ meetings and deliberations.
Describing the members of the council as steadfast and lovers of the institution, Maeba expressed joy over the cordial relationship that existed among members, maintaining that their zeal and forthrightness would take the polytechnic to greater heights.
He said, “This governing council is one of the best governing councils in the schools in the state. I want to thank members of the council for their forthrightness and love for the school. These are members who spend their money to come to school on private visit to see to the welfare of the school. There is no friction between governing council and members and our meetings have always ended cordially. I am happy to be associated with these cream of members”.
While assuring that the polytechnic would witness flagoff of other constructions on campus, Maeba averred that the destruction of the former governing council building by the wildwind was a deliberate act to bring about a modern and beffiting complex in the institution.
“This auditorium was blown off by wildwind sometimes in May 2018. The sole purpose of the wind was to blow off a building that was no longer befitting for the school and the aim of the wind is actualised today”, he said. 
The CEAPOLY governing council chairman further lauded the Rector of the institution, Dr Samuel B Kalagbor for his dedication towards the growth of the institution.
In his words”the Rector is committed as he wants to move the school forward. We have passed a vote of confidence on him twice. First as a provost and then seeing his dedication, it was on us to convert his duty as a provost to a rector and that was done seamlessly because he deserves it.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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