By Maryam Abeeb
Part of the programs of the Federal Government to create a self-reliant society capable of creating wealth and jobs, according to the Minister of State for Education, Rt Hon Goodluck Nanah Opiah, is to expand the frontiers of vocational education in Nigeria.
This was part of the speech the minister delivered at the formal flag-off ceremony of UNESCO Supported Pilot School Sewing Championship 2022/2023 Project held at the Women Model Skills Centre, Government Secondary School, in Abuja.
The minister said that it is for this reason that the Ministry of Education, its parastatals and agencies are working in tandem with Development Partners towards a paradigm shift in the educational architecture that will institute “discovery of creative skills, aptitudes and competences necessary in converting the abundance of non-oil resources into wealth, which is a sure way of turning the economy of our country around”
According to him, “there is a major focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). These areas of focus are prioritized in the Ministry’s Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP, Pillar 3), Education 2030 Agenda, Ministerial Mandate, Medium Term National Development Plan and other relevant policy documents.
“Nigeria is making frantic efforts and synergizing with all relevant stakeholders to have a significant place in the global skills map. The participation of the Ministry in the event of today is a proof to that. Quality and functional education, complemented by relevant vocational training and skills development opportunities, prepare future generations for productive lives, empowering them with the core skills that enable them to continue learning, be self-reliant, contribute to national development and prepare them to participate in the global skills competition”
Speaking further, the minister expressed that the initiative is a project that is basic to building and sustaining individual and societal development thereby leading to a new narrative of productive, qualitative, efficient and functional citizens who are better able to drive innovation, creativity and compete well in the world of skills.
Rt Hon Opiah who commended the efforts of Hon. Rosemary Ojochenemi Osikoya, the Executive Director of Ladi Memorial Foundation (LMF), for her innovativeness in initiating this type of championship in public schools within the 6 (six) Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), also appreciated the support from FCT Education Secretariat, traditional rulers and other stakeholders who have contributed towards the success of the pilot stage of the Inter-state competition.