Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi yesterday lamented hydra-headed crisis challenges confronting Nigeria’s education system, noting that policy somersault “has been an impediment to the development of the system in the last four decades.”
Fayemi, also, said Nigeria would not achieve real growth and sustainable development without placing emphasis on technological and technical education, saying in the modern world, any country that “de-prioritises technical education will suffer collapsed economy.”
He made the remarks at a meeting with the management staff of technical colleges in Ado-Ekiti, urging the state governors “to prioritise technical and vocational education for citizens to have skills that can make them to economic growth.”
Fayemi, who spoke through the Chairman of the State Board for Technical and Vocational Education, Hon. Kayode Babade, lamented that policy somersault “has been the major impediment to the development of Nigeria’s educational system.
“We always have policy somersault. The government that brought in the 6-3-3-4 policy really meant well for this country. Under the structure, pupils at primary level will spend six years; students at junior secondary level (JSS I-III) three years and those at secondary level (SSS I-III) will undergo three-year training.”
“When this policy was introduced, you will discover that most secondary schools were equipped with various kinds of workshops and tools. But today, none of them are in the schools. The greatest problem they had was when they have the tools, there were no teachers to teach and train the students,” he said.
The governor, therefore, explained that any country that “will focus on that kind of a system would have to organise at regular training for technical teachers who will come and impact knowledge at the various levels of educational system.”
He, also, explained that the board had been mandated “to organise a one-day lecture to sensitise youths, graduates and artisans on technical education as a means to self reliance and sure employment. It is high time the public change its negative perception about technical trainees and education.”
He disclosed that the State Board for Technical and Vocational Education “has been mandated to oganise a lecture on the significance of technical education. The lecture will focus on Technical Education: Innovation and Change of Perception. It will be delivered by a product of technical education, who rose to the professorship cadre at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Sam Adejuyigbe.”
Fayemi explained the imperative of technical education to the country’s national development, noting that any developing nation that “despises technical education will suffer collapsed economy in this contemporary world.”
Specifically, the governor noted that technical education “has a major role to play in national development,” pointing out that all over the world, any nation that fails to imbibe technological education “will be relegated in economic ranking.”
Realising the values of technological innovations, Fayemi said the state had invested heavily in the Technical College, Ado-Ekiti, where students were being trained in technical programmes like; ceramics, carpentry and joinery, electrical installation, motor building, ICT, garment making, shoe making, among others.
He said the investment became imperative because a country that failed “to invest in this sector cannot be referred to as a developing nation; let alone a developed one. So, that is why every nation in the world is now investing heavily on technical and technological education.
“Countries like China, South Korea, Singapore, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are all investing heavily on technical and technological education. Without it, how do you generate power? How will they manufacture automobile?
“How will they understand electrical installation; transmit information via satelite, television and radio? These are works of technology, even the phones we are using today is a product of technical education, So, without technical education, the world is nothing.”