While it has over the years been observed that conventional universities have continued to receive government’s attention to the exclusion of other tertiary institutions, stakeholders have called for a rethink as the year 2014 progresses.
To them, the role of technical education in national development across the globe cannot be overemphasised, especially when juxtaposed against the growing technological advances in the 21st century.
For this reason, they are advocating government’s support for this critical but overlooked aspect of education, which according to them is the only key to entrepreneurial development and employment generation in the nation.
They maintain that government should realise that technical education and vocational institutes and colleges are the solutions to the present unemployment challenge that the nation is facing.
A cross section of them who spoke to BusinessDay are of the opinion that once youths acquire skill at an early stage before graduation, they can live productively when they channel such skill to various endeavour thereby helping their parents, community and society at large.
Yinka Adeoti, a professional in technical drawing, noted that despite its role in employment generation, technical education was being shunted to the back burner.
Adeoti explained that the role of technical education is to provide a nation with human resources that would develop its technologies, adding that the field is one of the surest ways of making the economy richer, prosperous and resourceful.
“Government support for good technical education is the best way to prepare a nation for excellence. Without this form of education, how would people grow, develop and compete effectively in the rapidly changing global economy?” he wondered.
In his estimation, what is required in stemming this tide is a policy shift on the part of government, which should be targeted at implementing the technologies learnt by students in the course of their studies at polytechnics and universities of technology.
Samuel Eze, a student of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, advocated for more government support in infrastructural development, stating that across the world, he is aware of the enormous role that technical education plays in any nation desirous of achieving its education goals.
“Technical education covers a wide spectrum of educational training programmes such as trade and commerce, medicine and sciences, engineering and agriculture, which are all essential to the development of the human and natural resources of any forward-looking country,” he said.
Eze further explained that he was convinced there are more career opportunities in fields under technical education, for which reason he could not help wondering why government had been rather slow in its efforts to improve that aspect of education.
In the area of job creation, Maurice Ukachukwu, a teacher at Enugu State College of Education Technical, observed that as the scope of technologies is seamless so is the scope of job opportunities in the technology field. To him, it is quite obvious that if a nation requires many technologies, it would naturally require many hands to build and operate those technologies. “The role of technical education is toward improving the nation’s economy and opening up more job opportunities for individuals,” he added.
According to him, “since education is the cornerstone of a nation, there must be something wrong with any society that does not take its educational institutions seriously.
By: KELECHI EWUZIE