Abuja – The Federal Government has approved N6 billion for the rehabilitation of technical colleges, the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said.
Wike disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening of the two-day Africa Regional Forum on Advancing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
The minister further said: “To further support the development of TVET, the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) has been approved by the Federal Executive Council.
“National Occupations Standards are being developed in a number of industrial areas including manufacturing, construction, ICT, hotel and hospitality and Agriculture, ’’ he said.
The minister said government was aware of the importance of education, especially human capital development, to the long-term development of the country.
He also said education was a critical component in achieving the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“In order to ensure the actualisation of the education component of the Transformation Agenda, we developed the four-year Strategic Plan for the Development of the Education Sector: 2011-2015.
“In recognition of the importance of TVET to skills development, it is one of the critical parts of the Strategic Plan.
“The others are strengthening the Institutional Management of Education, Access and Equity; Standard & Quality Assurance; Teacher Education & Development; and Funding, Partnerships, Resource Mobilisation and Utilisation,’’ he said.
According to him, the conference is coming at a time when government is making efforts aimed at repositioning the country’s economy through human capital development.
“In addressing skills development through TVET, we must recognise the importance of continuously gathering and sharing ideas so as to enhance success.
“Without the necessary manpower, we shall fall victim of a situation where organisations seek manpower outside of our shores simply because we have not developed our local human resources.
“This will then continue to leave us with the problem of unemployment and economic stagnation,’’ he said.
Wike said Africa, being the next economic frontier because of its huge reserve of natural resources and potentials, had become an investor’s destination of choice.
He said the development of TVET for skilled manpower to support the production facilities of business organisations was therefore necessary.
The minister said that without the necessary manpower, Africa would continue to fall victim of a situation where organisations seek manpower outside of its shores because it had not developed local human resources.
“This will then continue to leave us with the problem of unemployment and economic stagnation.
“ Creating employment for our youths and ensuring sustainable development must be a priority for all our societies,’’ he added.
Wike urged stakeholders at the forum to ensure that the objectives of the conference such as facilitating sharing of expert knowledge and showcasing skills development strategies were achieved.
In an address of welcome, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr Masa’ud Kazaure, said the collaboration between Nigeria and other bodies had opened doors for international linkages.
Kazaure said NBTE on its part would continue to seek for the strengthening of policies aimed at revitalisation of TVET.
He commended the Federal Government for upgrading TVET Centre of Excellence to Category II at the UNESCO World Centre.
The conference, which was organised in collaboration with UNESCO, had 16 African countries in attendance. (NAN)