• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Lafarge Africa graduates technicians

Lafarge

Experts in the field of engineering and technical education in the country have urged government at all levels to hand off technical education and allow the professionals from private sector to manage all technology-based schemes in order to make the programme more effective and helpful to socio-economic growth and development.

They decried poor teachings and dwindling effects of technical education and engineering, saying the shoddy handling of technology-based teachings and practicals currently undertaken by government-owned secondary and tertiary institutions could not bring about desired results in the twenty first century.

Speaking at the second graduation of Lafarge Africa/ITF/NECA/Technical Apprentices held at Ewekoro Cement Plant on Wednesday, Doyin Ogunbiyi, Chairperson of Ogun State Board for Technical and Vocational Education, said that private sector should be drivers of technical education in modern Nigeria.
Ogunbiyi disclosed that current experience in terms of poor teachings and failure of public sector to provide adequate teaching materials and equipment instrumental to teaching and learning of technology and engineering at every level of education has negatively affected expertise among skilled and semi-skilled labour.

The chairperson, who said that the level of unemployment is daily rising in the country due to quackery almost in all the vocations and tradesmanship, added, “government cannot handle technical education alone in view of modern development, it can only involve in regulation of exams, certificates and so on.”

Also, Oba Jimoh Famuyiwa, Onipapa of Papalanto in Ewekoro Local council, who was trained as a factory technician in Lafarge Africa in 1982, said unnecessary formalities which had crept into technical education and failure of government to properly regulate technical education, have been the bane of quality technical education and engineering in Nigeria.

While commending Lafarge Africa for the initiative taken on the technical and vocational education, which cuts across main engineering such as electrical, mechanical, civil, maintenance among others, Oba Famuyiwa declared that Nigeria could only grow if government allowed private sector to engage in massive trainings of willing Nigerians.

Speaking on the Lafarge Africa’s Technical Apprenticeship Scheme, Adepeju Adebajo, managing director/CEO, Lafarge Africa declared that the number of intakes to the scheme had increased from 11 students at inception, to 21 in the last one year, as the management even considered to increase the coverage of the scheme.

Adebajo, who was represented by Viola Douglas-Graham, communications director, disclosed the scheme is conducted in partnership with Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), and is well positioned to brighten chances of candidates for admissions in the Nigerian universities.

She said, “Initially, when we started the Diploma programme it was 18 months, but we have decided to make it a 3-year duration, so that students can get a certification from external bodies that can enable them use the certificates externally and in other places, not just Lafarge, the certificate is recognised everywhere because it is approved by NABTEB.

“In addition, as part of our merger last year, we are repeating the initiative in other locations, so we decided to broaden the system to be run for three years as well. When we started the programme is only for our communities, but we are internationally and nationally, so we have opened other centres across the country.”

 

RAZAQ AYINLA