By Peter Osalor
The focus is on the roles of technology and vocational education in enhancing entrepreneurial skills that will equip students for entrepreneurship education in Information and Communication Technology (ICT.) driven technological environment. The world has become globalized and the future prosperity depends on comparative advantage. This comparative advantage hinges on people and their technical or technological sophistication. Towards this, some crucial entrepreneurial and technical skills needed by the students in colleges of education (technical), polytechnics and universities to meet the trends in a global economy is analyzed.
Technology education is to be considered as the key agent of technology development, either as a way of developing human capacity, increasing the shield work force for modernization, industrialization, environmental development or as a matter of personnel freedom, developing capability and empowerment. Technology education is increasingly recognized to be central to both the origins of technological development and challenges and to the prospects for successfully dealing with them (Alam, 2009). Decision makers at all levels, need timely, reliable access to knowledge generated by technology and technical education to introduce rational policies that reflect a better global understanding of complex technical, economic, social, cultural and article issues concerning the society, and our environment. Technical decision making and priority setting is an integral part of overall development planning and formation of technology development strategies. Above all, technology education is a human right and, as such, should receive priority in the allocation of national resources. It has become very necessary not to only keep technology education bound to the role of manufacturing skilled manpower but also to economic development and global economy. In Nigeria, technology education was previously not seen as fundamental for national development, or for the economic development, but for the school dropouts, and other social and political development within the nation and for individuals. Hallak (1990) argues that technology education is also linked to human resources development and that this has an impact on more than just economic growth, but also an impact on the wider development of individuals and societies. According to him, it contributes to:
(a). Individual creativity, improved participation in the economic, social and cultural roles in society.
(b). Improved understanding of an individual and heir respect for others, thus promoting social cohesion and material understanding
(c) Improvement in health and nutrition.
(d). Improved chances of economic development.
(e). Improved technological development.
(f). Socio-cultural change.
(g). Democracy and equality
(h). Ecological development/quality of life (increasing people’s awareness of their environments).
From our analysis so far, it is clear that modernization and economic development, depends on investment and appreciation of modern trends in technology education. According to Woodhall (1997) investment in technological education and training produces benefits for the individual and for society as whole.
The roles of technical and vocational education in enhancing entrepreneurial skills using information and communication technology is very important in training for self-employment, self-reliance and skills acquisition now that government cannot employ every graduate. This could be achieved through the development of entrepreneurial skills in technology and vocational education through information and communication technology.
Technology and vocational education programme of our tertiary institutions should be directed to focus on enhancing the training for entrepreneurship in ICT so as to be functional in today’s world of work and the global economy. In this period of mass unemployment and global economic fortunes, only the best can survive by being self-employed. The tertiary institutions where technology and vocational education programme is offered should encourage and enhance entrepreneurial skills of students through constant review of the curriculum to reflect the technological changes and emerging technology in today’s ICT driven technical environment. Technical educators should involve technological, technical, and business organization, government, NGOs and even successful industrialists in their service delivery to the students.