The 2-day special training in technical and vocational education, organized by Mark C. Orgu’s Intellectual Property, (MCIP) Lagos, for the eight public secondary school teachers in the Orogun Kingdom, witnessed a veritable outcome as technocrats in technical and vocational education were in attendance, ranging from a former Commissioner of Education, now, Chairman, Governing Council of Ilaro Polytechnic, Dr Veronica Ogbuagu, Dr Goodnews Agbodigi, Director, Ministry of Technical and vocational education, Dr Mabel Imobighe and Dr Juliana Azonuche, from the department of Technical and Vocational Education, Delta State University, Abraka.

Other guests at the training include, the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, represented by Dr Tedwin Emudainohwo, Mrs Martha Odiete, Chief Inspector of Education, Ughelli North and Dr Moses Bragiwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Technical Education, Asaba, who wants the government to invest heavily in technical education, as it is the engine road for economic growth.

He hinted that, if the country should invest in skill training, there will be economic prosperity, as no nation can compete effectively in the emerging global marketplace with poorly educated and unskilled workers, as the leading factors of production are said to be technologically knowledge, creativity and innovation. He concluded by saying that teaching students technical and vocational education is the most effective way to build a secure economic environment for all.

The occasion was chaired by Olorogun Barr. Benson Ndakara, President-General of Orogun Kingdom, represented by Dr. Emmanuel Ndakara, lauded the initiative and advised the teachers to take the veritable platform to improve on their ability. This was corroborated by Sen. Omo-Agege, who said that the advancement of vocational and technical education has not been without challenges especially the wrong notion about it.

 “Generally, there is a wrong societal perception of vocational and technical education programme, just as there is also inadequate implementation of government’s policy concerning it, greatly influenced by lack of basic facilities and workshops, and lack of qualified personnel and administrators.”

 He stated that, as for the love he has for technological advancement, his effort brought about the signing of the Federal University of Petroleum, Effurun, as well as the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, both are technical and vocationally inclined Institutions.

Delivering her lecture, titled,  ‘Building Entrepreneurial Mind, Using Technical Vocational Subjects As Tools For Students, Dr Ogbuagu said: The time has come for self-development through technical skills, innovation, critical brainstorming, risk-taking and profit realization, stressing, however, that technical and vocational education possess the potential to train the skilled workforce needed by any nation, thereby creating employment for youths, and enabling the nation to come out of the unemployment, poverty, underdevelopment and technical impediments.

While speaking on the teaching of Vocational subjects, the former Commissioner stressed the challenges posed by the current system of operation and the need for revival: 

“The 6-3-3-4 system stipulated that 6 years was to primary School, the first three years of the Junior School was for everybody that graduated from primary school, while the last three years of the secondary school was for those who either wanted to go to technical school or those who wanted to attend University for academic pursuit.

 But there was no adequate preparation for technical and vocational education in the secondary schools, as there were no space, no equipment and teachers were not trained to teach the technical and vocational aspect of the educational system. It is this abandonment of vocational and technical education that has led us to a situation today where millions of Nigerian youths who graduates are roaming the street in search of white-collar jobs that do not exist”

Remedying the situation, she advised the government to start repositioning the system: “The government can go back to the drawing board and review the 9-3-4 educational policy to ensure its vigorous implementation. By this policy, not all students that graduate from JSS 3 should proceed to SS3, some based on weak performance are expected to proceed to Technical Colleges and spent three years to obtain nationally approved professional certificates.

At the Technical Colleges, vocational skilled acquired enable graduates to fit into industries as Technicians and craftsmen, some may not even search for employment because the training empowers them to be self-employed. 

Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) if well positioned could pay multi-dimensional roles of stipulating economic growth, social development, empowerment, wealth creation and poverty reduction”

Highlighting some inter-related problems as regards teachers, Ogbuagu noted that, Teachers are not trained to teach technical and vocational subjects or probably may be having little or no interest to teach technical and vocational education.

She noted the benefits of TVET as, career-focused, job placement before graduation, reduction in crime, higher employment rate, financial Aide, while stressing that, the absence of TVET has created an alarming unemployment rate, increase in depression among unemployed graduates, increase in black market economy/crime, higher government spending and lower tax revenue and others. 

On his part, Dr Agbodigi stated the need for secondary school teachers to equip themselves vocationally as their students look up to them as mentors and guidance.

“They need to have effective educational development and mentoring by Teachers of Technical and Vocational Education cannot be overemphasized at the basic and Secondary Educational System.

The Teacher is at the epic centre to galvanize the instructional materials and students to achieve the expected success rate at school.

The Teacher bears the responsibility of educating the children placed in their care. Although they play many other important roles in the classroom.

Any Teacher who has the interest of the learners at heart is bound to think of ways and means of making his teaching and learning process more effective and more interesting to students.

With the exposure to information technology, today’s students have problems with which career to choose.

 We are in a difficult time but be that as it may, the Teacher stands a big help here. You need to understand the present-day economic downturn, and guide students on the part of a career that will work best and whatnot”.

The Director, scolded the teachers to guard their students well especially while choosing a career.

“Students need to be guided to pick the best career that suits their talents, skill and guide them the best platform to expose themselves to economic fortunes. Here, the labour market is saturated with those in search of a white-collar jobs, with the best of graduating C.G.P.

The irony here is that when one advertised for a job vacancy met for the primary school certificate holder.

You will be surprised to see more than one thousand (1000) University graduates competing for that position. As the country stands now, with a population of two hundred million (200,000,000), it is looking for those with skills either who are employable or able to create jobs for themselves and employ others.

It is the right time for the Teachers to let the students know that there are other types of job opportunities order than the white-collar job; like blue and pink. It is only a blue and pink collar that determines the equation of Technological and economic prosperity of a nation.

The pink collar connotes job opportunities in hospitality industries, care-oriented career fields while the Blue collar job provides opportunities in the Construction industry, manufacturing,  mining, practical and skilled and unskilled worker.

A greater number of students can be motivated to choose their career in Technical and Vocational education through effective use of instructional resources”

He concluded by advising teachers to always use instructional materials in their classrooms. Students learn better when they are motivated properly through different teaching aids.

 Dr Mabel Imobighe trained the teachers on the need for fish farming while Dr Juliana Azonuche was on fashion and design. On his part, the Convener of the training, Mark C. Orgu said, that, it became necessary to give back to society as a product of technical education.  40 teachers were trained.

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