By Amaka Abayomi
UNITED Nations Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, has said that about two billion youths globally between 15 and 25 years need good competitive education, jobs and a future to look forward to. Guterres stated this at the opening ceremony of the Federal Science and Technical College, FSTC, Yaba, Model United Nations maiden conference in Lagos, themed Communicating the Future Through Information Technology For Senior Secondary Students.
Speaking through the Director, UN Information Centre, Nigeria, Mr. Rolland Keyanja, Guterres noted that the world was living in unprecedented times. He noted, “out of the 7.5 billion people on earth, an estimated two billion are youth between 15 and 25 years of age. They need a good competitive education, they need jobs, and they need a future to look forward to. This is why the UN General Assembly, in 2015, adopted Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. We now have a set of 17 Goals which focus on the social well being of people prosperity of our society and peace in our communities, among others.
“This is a very important and ambitious initiative which requires working with a sense of urgency, and your focus on technology and innovation is one of those key elements of the Agenda 2030 but we must first of all increase access to information and communication technology for all our citizens to enable them effectively engage in the contemporary economy.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, said no Nigerian child should graduate from secondary school without knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Stressing that ICT remains a life propeller of future of businesses and governments, the Minister said there was the need to make ICT an addition to the training being given to the children. He said “Otherwise, Nigerians may end up having people who brandish only certificates but are hardly equipped for the demands of the job market. Coming here today has been an eye opener for me in the versatility of the staff and students, as well as the level of facilities, in terms of the laboratories, equipment, ICT facilities and workshops, among others. If I have my way, I will use this institution as a standard for all secondary schools in Nigeria. Nigeria, with a population of 180 million people, most of who are youths, deserves not just theoretical education because there are simply no job places for theories and people who can’t use their hands to work.”
Also speaking, the Principal of the College, Rev. Chris Ugorji, said the conference was technically designed for young people who desire to be leaders of tomorrow. He said “Just like the UN, the plan for this conference is to bring together young delegates representing some UN member countries.
Our goal is grooming tomorrow’s leaders to identify and analyse various economic, social and cultural problems of different nations, so as to proffer solutions.
“We seek to develop a community that would be known for grooming future leaders who would carefully analyse national problems and propose feasible solutions wherever they may find themselves. We are also optimistic that other schools in Nigeria are working towards these objectives and aspirations as the immediate task we have now is to technologically upgrade our schools following the current trends.”