• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Stakeholders harp on technical education for economic, technological advancement

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The potential in technical education in Nigeria has remained under-utilised due to years of neglect and this has been described as a major drawback to economic and technological development in the country.

Some education stakeholders who spoke to Business School decried the poor state of most of the technical institutions built in the past to provide the skilled manpower needed to drive industries in the country as well as the poor performance of the Engineering discipline in various institutions of higher learning where incompetent graduates were being raised for the starving industries.

They maintained that the country can only advance technologically and economically if this aspect of education receives the attention it requires.

Dominic Uvieghara, the chief executive officer of Ohara Limited, observed that Nigeria has a lopsided educational structure whereby only about 300 technical schools exist whereas it is the aspect of education that directly addresses the issue of unemployment, by creating a great pool of skilled manpower for industries. “The challenge we have in Nigeria is that we have a lopsided educational structure. We have just about 300 technical schools in the country as a whole.

Technical education is learning by doing and it is the aspect of education that creates the greatest impact in the society. It directly addresses the issues of youth unemployment and youth restiveness and supplies the real labour need for industries. It provides the skilled manpower that is used to drive the industries,” Uvieghara said.

While disclosing that Ohara Limited in partnership with Labtech International Limited has recorded huge success in the promotion of technical education in emerging economies of Asia, the CEO noted that they were also partnering with government to replicate the success stories in Nigeria.

According to him, there is need for support the Engineering discipline in polytechnics and the universities because we need technical and technology education to develop the country.

Also speaking on the importance of technical education to national development, Olumide Ajayi, a development economics expert who is the project coordinator at the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), noted that it would go a long way to improve the informal sector of the economy while providing skilled manpower for the formal sector. Ajayi however, promoting training in technical education must go hand in hand with training in entrepreneurship as the latter ensures the conversion of the technical skills into wealth.

“Government should pay attention to technical skills and entrepreneurship training to improve the economy. This will address the issue of poverty because more people will be empowered. They will contribute to the growth of the GDP and also become employers of labour thereby reducing unemployment rate,” he noted.

 

IFEOMA ONUOHA