Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Registrar of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB), Professor Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, has attributed the low rate of Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) in Nigeria to poor funding of technical colleges by government at all levels.

She also identified poor condition of learning in technical schools as an obstacle to TVE.

Isiugo-Abanihe, who made this known during the release of the May/June NBC/NTC examinations results in Benin, lauded the improvement in policy on technical education in various states, saying that many state governments have now braced up for it.

She also observed that the poor attitude of people arising from the dichotomy between university graduates and polytechnic graduates is not encouraging.

“That negative attitude that has trailed this dichotomy until recently has also been a factor as some parents do not feel that their children should go to the polytechnic because when they finish, there will be that discrimination between them and university graduates. That is part of the problems.”

On the May/June results, she said there was an improvement this year compared to the previous year. “33,712 candidates, representing 58.75 per cent of candidates in the NBC/NTC examinations scored five credits and above, including English Language and Mathematics, whereas 47,360 candidates, representing 82.53 per cent scored five credits and above with or without English Language and Mathematics.

“This represents an improved performance trend compared to the May/June 2016 results where only 38,280 candidates, representing 55.9 per cent obtained five credits and above, including English Language and Mathematics and 54,448 candidates, representing 79.6 per cent scored five credits and above.”

Isiugo-Abanihe suggested that as a way of encouraging more enrolment, the Federal Ministry of Education should enforce the admission policy approved by the National Council on Examination (NCE) to apply the ratio of 30:70 in favour of TVE in the admission of students to federal science and technical colleges.

“The immediate catchment area is the federal science and technical colleges that is our main target group but the policy to admit 70 per cent technical and 30 per cent science have not really been implemented but we are on it. We had a meeting with all the principals from technical colleges in Nigeria and they were here and we agreed that they will do better, we don’t know whether they will go the hog but we are encouraging them and we are also telling the ministry to encourage the colleges to make sure that 70 per cent of students who come into these colleges will be admitted for technical. If they do and all of them do NABTEB examination, there will be increase in the number of students sitting for our examination.

She stressed the need for the federal and state governments to establish more modern and well-equipped technical colleges in all local government areas in the country as directed by the ministry of education.