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Gov harps on repositioning of TVET as panacea for development

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The absence of a robust, well-modeled quality technical and vocational education is responsible for the frightening dimension of the national unemployment rate, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said.

 

This was one of the thrusts of his paper, entitled: “Technical Education and Skills Acquisition as Imperative for Youth Empowerment,” which he delivered at the 2018 National Alumni Lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, held in Trenchard Hall, Ibadan. Obaseki, however, lamented that a lot of things had to be done to change the perception of people towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), saying this could be done by fostering public support, redesigning the institutions and putting them under quality management.

 

The governor, an alumnus of the university, where he graduated in 1976, said: “It is indeed a great pleasure to return to this great institution, an intellectual haven that moulded me in the very best traditions of research, leadership, administration, the arts, understanding of the values of life and the centrality of human progress as the measure of labour.” He regretted that the slow development of TVET, saying: “We have neglected technical and vocational education for too long.

 

The discrimination that polytechnic graduates still suffer after graduation is a clear illustration of this situation. Many technical schools have been converted to regular schools to produce all sorts of certificates, while others are merely glorified institutions with nothing technical about them in terms of curriculum and technology development, as well as facilities and general infrastructure. “In this way, we have gradually lost the vision and mission of producing a cadre of skilled young Nigerians to undertake technical responsibilities in government, industry and general services.

 

“It is no wonder that foreign investors, especially contractors in building and construction industry come into the country with their retinue of technical staff, using legal and underhand tactics to comply with or evade the quota system for expatriate labour.” On reforms in the TVET subsector in Edo State, the governor said: “We closed and redesigned the Government Science and Technical College in Benin, and we are currently rebuilding it to reflect contemporary requirements for a full-fledged technical college.

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