By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Ministry of Education kick-started the process of cooperation with the Czech Government on the development of the nation’s technical and vocational education during the Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike’s meeting with officials of the Vitkovice Secondary School, Czech’s largest vocational institution in Czech Republic recently.
The meeting and a facility tour of the institution held at the expansive school facility at Ostrava, about 400 kilometres away from Prague, the capital of Czech.
The Federal Government delegation and the school administration deliberated on the implementation process of the collaboration on the promotion of technical and vocational education, fashioned alongside the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
Wike stated that Nigeria hopes to take advantage of the 180-year experience of the school in the use of technical and vocational education to develop the Czech national economy.
He noted that the negotiations with the authorities of the Vitkovice Secondary School were fruitful as the institution has excelled in linking graduands with relevant industries after diligent and sustained training programmes.
He said; “The benefits of technical and vocational education are critical to the goals that this administration is aiming to achieve.
“We believe that youths that are equipped with the relevant tools will be self-reliant and employers of labour. That is why we have resolved to seek cooperation with countries that have the capacity and experience to assist us in this direction.
“We have identified Czech Republic as a country with the relevant expertise that will be profitable to our country.
“We are working towards a comprehensive overhaul of our technical and vocational schools to ensure that they are relevant to our economy.
“We believe that the partnership we are forging with the Czech Government will help us achieve our goal.
“Our fundamental objective is to have a technical and vocational education that trains the youth in relevant trades that will make them self-reliant and also equipped with the capacity to work in companies within their environment,” he said.
Lubomir Gogela of Vitkovice Secondary School told the delegation that the institution was prepared to put its 180-year expertise in technical and vocational education at the disposal of the Nigerian Ministry of Education.
He added that the school has experience working in different countries of the world, pointing out that the school has developed pragmatic ways technical and vocational education could improve the living condition of youths.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mrs. Kate Okon stated that she facilitated the bilateral cooperation because of the immense intellectual capacity of the Czech Technical and Vocational Education sub-sector, which she felt would assist in training the youth population of Nigeria for employment opportunities.