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By Maryam Aminu, Abuja

The Country Director GIZ Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ina Hommers has expressed dissatisfaction over the poor technological skills and incompetence of staff to pass across technological knowledge to the younger generation in the Higher Institutions in Nigeria.

“Competencies to teach necessary technological (energy and electronic ) skills in our polytechnics and Universities is very poor and the standardization of the competency base system is the more degrading.

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“We at GIZ are trying to enhance a framework and the standardization of TVET of youth in order to ensure adequate skills that meet up with the market-relevant skills”.

Hommers, made the statement while speaking at the two-day National Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) held on Thursday 11th November 2021 at Lagos Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Also, the Honourable Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the past Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. M.A Kazaure applaud the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for creating the workshop with the theme: Repositioning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through Policy and Legislative Options for National Development.

Adamu said Nigeria’s teeming youth unemployment could be linked with what it described as lack of “specific skills required for the job market,” among graduates.

“Presently, most of our schools lack teachers who have mastered of their subject matter and lacks teaching aids for effective teaching of the 37 compulsory trade subjects in SSCE since 2013”.

He added that the Ministry through NBTE has developed 41 national occupational standards and 95 qualifications covering 8 economic sectors of the country Including construction, education, hospitality, power, ICT, etc.

“Just as we have an intervention for TETFUND, there should also be more special fund intervention in the area of TVET for vocational training to succeed in the country,” he suggested.

“For the attainment of agenda 2030 of the global goals, TVET system must be given special attention”.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arch. Sonny Echono FNIA, who was also represented by the Director of Human Resources of the Ministry, Mr. David Gende grieved that graduates produced in various universities of technology, polytechnics, colleges of education (Technical), and technical colleges nationwide lack efficient technical skills.

According to him, the gap “has created a shortfall of the adequately skilled educated workforce which is one of the major constraints to the growth and development of our nation.”

Speaking further, the Permanent Secretary lamented that “there is no doubt that there is an epic gap between the skilled manpower required and that which is currently available.”

“The situation results in having millions of Nigerian graduates that are unemployed,” he said.

Echono explained that given the situation, the present administration’s emphasis is majored on Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and skill acquisition, maintaining that TVET is the bedrock of socio-economic growth and development of any nation.

“Government at all levels has been making frantic efforts to equip the youths by establishing technical colleges, polytechnics, mono-technics, Vocational Enterprise Institutions (VEIs) and Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs) and Model Skills Training Centers (MSTC) for equipping youths/learners with technical and vocational skills through formal and non-formal channels across the states of the federation,” he said.

He explained that the main focus of the conference themed: “Repositioning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through Policy and Legislative Options for National Development” was “to develop synergy among the stakeholders of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nigeria through policy and legislative options which will serve as a foundation for (TVET) development, coordination and effective implementation in Nigeria.”
“This initiative is highly welcomed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as it will further enhance the achievement of this Administration’s ‘Change mantra’ through an effective manpower development with a viable skill acquisition programme specifically in areas of technology, and other aspects of resourcefulness to enhance national development; hence the establishment of Skill Training Centers (STCs) especially now that government is making comprehensive efforts in youths skill capacity building through investment in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).”

Earlier, GIZ Sustainable Economic Development Cluster and Head of Programme, Skills Development for Youth Employment, SKYE, Hans Ludwig Bruns, has said that “Nigeria is currently facing tremendous challenges in terms of sustainable job creation and productivity.”

According to him, “The high number of unemployment and underemployment have become major challenges over the past years.

“It is connected to the issue of skills development, which is interlinked to the challenges of adjusting TVET policies, regulations, and implementation,” he said, maintaining that “it cannot be overemphasized that high quality and relevant vocational education and training is a prerequisite for economic development.”

Bruns said: “From May 2018 to August 2021, SKYE and its implementing partners empowered over 11, 000 Nigerians with vocational skills in different areas including agriculture, construction, fashion, ICT, and hospitality.

He called on relevant stakeholders within the TVET sector to jointly work on the TVET reform process, submitting that, “this is needed to provide better vocational education for the young people in Nigeria.”

“The topic is a high priority in the reform agenda in many countries and Nigeria is not an exception.

“It is worthy to note that the Government of Nigeria has taken important steps forward in establishing the National Skills Council under the chairmanship of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 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 the private,” he said.

“Female beneficiaries accounted for over 37 percent of the total number of beneficiaries. Over 2, 100 of the total number have gained employment. In agriculture skills training alone, SKYE trained 6, 116 beneficiaries. Women accounted for 40 percent (2, 457) of the total number.” Bruns added.

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