Written by Godfrey AKON

FG to build 16 technical schools

The Federal Government has said it is embarking on the construction of 16 technical schools across the country to bridge the skills gap among the youth and meet the nation’s manpower needs.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said, last Thursday, that the move was part of the Ministerial Strategic Plan for the development of the education sector 2018-2022, stating that 6 of the technical schools will be completed in 2019.

Adamu, who spoke in Abuja at a 2-day retreat for federal and state educational authorities, warned that unless the county lays emphasis on technical, vocational, education and training, TVET, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM, it will never be able to solve its problems of unemployment.

“I just hope when they are ready the issue of TVET will dominate at state level because unless we lay emphasis on technical vocational education and other levels such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics construction at all levels, we will never be able to solve our problems of unemployment as the world is moving towards a knowledge economy,” he said.

While decrying the rate of unqualified teachers across the country, the minister expressed hope that the December 2019 deadline issued by the Teachers Registration Council, TRCN, to flush out all unqualified teachers in the country will be kept, calling on states to cooperate with the federal government.

“Most of the issues actually are not just the out of school children but the people who are in school actually are not learning anything because of the quality of teachers.

“In most states teachers in the primary schools are just political appointees, their political handlers are giving them jobs. They are not trained teachers, probably they don’t even have a school cert. I hope states will join the ministry in making sure that the teaching profession from now on answers to the calls of the TRCN?” he said.

Speaking on the standard of Nigeria’s institutions, he said the issue has made students to go out of the country to get fake degrees, leading to capital flight from Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc Sonny Echono, said a detailed data of qualified teachers would be done on a state-by-state basis to avoid the excuse of states employing unqualified teachers.

Echono said the government will also address the issue of entry qualification to the nation’s tertiary institutions and review the curriculum of basic education in the country, adding that intensive review of tertiary education curricula was being done.

The Minister of State for Education, Hon Emeka Nwajiuba, said Nigeria deserves an educational system that would be a world model in quality and efficiency, adding that the education sector was being repositioned to prepare the citizenry to fit into the changing technological and economic terrain.

Nwajiuba noted that education was the shared responsibility of all tiers of government and therefore requires synergy of efforts to attain desired goals.

“This informs the need to collate, harmonise and align federal and states education work plans for effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the MSP (ministerial strategic plan) and a robust national outcome,” he said.

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