By Stanley Onyekwere
In order to enhance Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the country, stakeholders have called on the government to strategically ensure improved funding, commitment and attention in the area, so as to boost building of the society.
The stakeholders drawn from various human endeavours, converged yesterday, at Public Advocacy and Awareness Lectures on Technical and Vocational Education Training and Launching of Thef- ABWANTNU, an intervention programme for TVET in grassroot, at Gwagwalada Area Council, in Abuja.
The event with the theme: “Building a mindset for sustaining TVET in Nigeria”, was organised by a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Toddlers Haven Educational Foundation, as part of activities as to mark the 50th birthday of its Founder, Dr. (Mrs) Olubukola Dosunmu.
Dosunmu, who decried the poor general perception of the society about TVET, noted the need to do more to change the narratives, through strategic discourse and actions.
She said although, the government have tried in terms of human capital development, but they have not given enough priority to education, let alone technical and vocational educational training.
“ TVET is not rice and beans, as it requires a lot of funding, commitment and attention. While we are still here celebrating degrees from our ivory towers in our universities, countries of the world are focused on this hand skills, and it has always being part of our lives.
“So they (government) have not done enough, as they need to do more for education generally and TVET. It is not something that can be done in a snap shot, it has to get to the root of the government policies, to see how it’s going to impact on every programme that we are doing in the educational system in Nigeria.
“So, one of the things the society needs to do is to dismantle this mindset or perception thing towards TVET, and that is the conversation we are having today; to let people begin to see vocational skills in different light. It is actually capable of making people rich; it is actually capable of building the society”, she stressed.
She explained that the foundation decided to strategically picked her birthday date to educate the people of Gwagwalada, friends and associates on the significance of vocational education, because the foundation has existed there for close to 19 years.
Similarly, Chairperson, FCT National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Mrs Rukayat Agboola, said the lecture is not only timely, but long overdue, as technical and vocational education training is what the nation needs, in terms of the educational development.
She said “ The academic aspect alone in bringing up the children is not enough if actually we must develop as a nation , we need skills. Our children needs skills development to be able to function in many areas of human endeavours. In fact, the teeming population needs to have things doing in terms of vocational training and skill development.
“We have a teeming population that anything or vocation you get yourself involved in, you thrive. This is just the right time for it.
Also, in a goodwill message, the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, said the next generation need education and skills development that should go beyond increasing basic literacy rates.