The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, said that vocational education is a proven route to sustainable economic empowerment, which offers a broader segment of the society the opportunity to learn, earn, and live with dignity as accomplished humans.
Obaseki said this during the ground-breaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the old Benin Technical College in Benin City.
According to the governor, success is not defined by the possession of a university certificate; rather, success is what the individuals can do with their hands. He said the future would be defined by knowledge and technical expertise and as such, Edo State cannot be left behind.
Obaseki said the project would provide 1,300 direct jobs in the next 18 months, assuring that at least 800 of them would be reserved for Edo residents and indigenes. He added that part of the plan was to refurbish the existing buildings, equip several workshops and train teachers for delivery of a well-rounded technical education.
The governor said the project would be an example of sustainable development pathway, stressing that the state government will ensure that students at the College get the best of technical education, work with latest tools and equipment, and provide the essential technical expertise needed in the state and the country at large.
According to him, “My long-term vision for this site is to ensure that we build a light Industrial Park. This will ensure that business and knowledge seat side by side, working for the benefits of the Edo people. We are including solar power, harvesting water in the design. We have ensured that there is a strong framework for local participation at the project design stage.”
The lead consultant for the rehabilitation work at the Government Science Technical College (GSTC) Benin City, Mr. Giles Omezi, said the project is in its first phase, which would stretch for 18 months, during which new classrooms and dormitory blocks would be built. He said about nine existing buildings would be refurbished while a number of workshops and laboratory would be constructed.
He said the college would enroll 1500 students soon, who would get the best of vocational education, adding that in the long run, more students would be accommodated, as there would be provision for part-time students.