To overcome economic challenges, Kogi commissioner advises Nigerians to embrace vocational education
By John Akubo
The Kogi State commissioner of education Mrs Rosemary Ojochenemi Osikoya has advised Nigerians to de-emphasize the higher premium they usually placed on formal education to get degrees, as it is no longer paying based on the current economic realities.
Speaking during the maiden matriculation of new intakes into the Nigeria-Korea Friendship Institute in Lokoja yesterday, she said emphasis should be shifted to vocational education that now equip people with skills and also give them the opportunity to meet their needs and make impact on the society.
She said it is the major drawback that has set the Nigerian economy in the backwaters.
According to her, “People have all kinds of degrees but they cannot fix their car, or practicalise what they have learnt.”
She said the problem has been the fact that when people want to develop professional skills they end up with roadside arrangements like going to a tailors shop to learn how to sow and at the end of the day there is no certification.
“So people are not enticed to go into technical schools to acquire qualifications because the society reaction makes it look like if you have a blue collar job there is nothing good about that.
“But I am excited that in 2018 the federal Government has flagged off the technical education vocation and training.
“Under that, the arrangement for trade test which before was issued by the ministry of Commerce now has been moved to the ministry of education where the National Board for Technical Education (NABTEC) now gives out modular certificate.”
She said in Kogi State, the Governor has also given the go ahead to align all the non formal sectors that gives all kinds of nonformal training in the State to stream line them and bring them to certification where they now get different kinds of trade test certificate.
Osikoya pointed out that, in diversifying the economy it cannot done in agriculture alone if the people are not literate.
“How then do you produce the small tools that you need even to sustain agriculture?Sustainable diversification of the economy has to come with improvement in vocational training, and improvement in Science and Technology.”
She said it is what Kogi has done by giving support to the Nigeria-Korea Friendship Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology.
Explaining futher she said by that there come in a higher grade.
She said the institute You is able to bring in people from off the street whether or not they have been to a technical college.
“They can come here to a practical formal institute where they can Learn how to become welders, electricians and all the other fabrication that have to do with it, so it is an important first step.
“In Nigeria there are very few institutions like this but the deligence to have gone through the process of certification is the missing link.
“So we are giving blue collar job a face lift and connecting that how do you now stream in people into national innovation diploma?
She said the state is however, having constraints whereby since 27 years of statehood it can only boast of only four technical institutes and the four technical colleges do not have all the technical support they require over the years.
“The Governor has promised that at least each local Government area would have one technical college by 2018/2019 session despite the lean resources.
“Technical College does not need to be electrical, Welding and automobile? It could be as basic as a technical college that will focus on garment making, they are all part of the modular courses for which NABTECH exams are also availlable.”
Technical College in each Local Government.
She said Kogi was taking the lead in vocational training adding that all those who do not have the skills whether graduates or not should come to KOICA for vocational training.
“What is important for graduates comming to collect the Modular certificates is that they do what your Bsc and HND can not do because it confirms that you actually have the technical skills, that will protect the society to diversify the economy and equip ourselves.”
The Institute matriculated 75 students at first matriculation into various programs in the institute.
The matriculation which was the maiden one since the full commencement of academic activities in 2015 saw to the ebrollment of 31 of the students into the National Innovation Diploma (NID).
While 44 students were admitted into the short term of six months program.
In his speech the principal of the institute Okewu Arome Gabriel said 10 students were admitted for the electrical/electronics department while 4 were admitted into the welding and fabrication department.
Others are information and communication department which matriculated 30 students and automobile and.Mechatronics department matriculated 6 students.
He said the institute was founded on the ideal of self reliance through skill acquisition
“There are lots of challenges posed by ever rising unemployment largely ocasioned by a high percentage of unskilled labour force in our country Nigeria.
“This is in addition to the thoughtless bandwagon of our youths in their quest for paper qualification without commensurate skill for ‘white colar jobs’ it is quite disappointing
Council speaker donates uniforms to 100 orphans in Jigawa
By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse
The speaker of Dutse Local Government Council Malam Gambo Muhammad Dayyanu has brought succor to 100 orphans with a donation of a set of school’s uniform to 100 opharns in the State.
Presenting the set of uniforms to the beneficiaries at the Dutse local Government Secretariat, the speaker of the council said the gesture is aimed at giving support and encouragement to the orphans for them to be able to access universal basic education.
Malam Dayyanu who is the councillor representing Limawa ward in Dutse local government area, noted that “The children were carefully selected among the pupils in the primary and junior secondary schools under Limawa ward where he represents.
According to him “The aim is also to put smiles on their faces and give them courage to enhance their performance in their classes”.
“As you can see the uniforms are for both males and females whom lost their parents”.
The speaker also donated 20 cartons of chalk to the primary schools under Limawa ward.
Dayyanu maintained that “Apart from supporting the government in improving education, I also own it as a duty to render my contribution towards the development of my people and the children in particular being the bedrock of any development of the society.
Pro-Chancellor solicits enhanced FG support for FUL
By Friday Idachaba
To be able to carry out infrastructural development at the Federal University Lokoja (FUL), the Pro-Chancellor of the institution Sen. Chris Adighije, has solicited the support of the Federal Government and corporate bodies .
Adighije made the call at the 5th Convocation Ceremony and Award of Degrees of the University at the institution’s Felele Campus on Saturday in Lokoja.
He said that the university’s permanent site had vast land without perimeter fencing hence security remained a challenge, adding that the place also lacked power supply and potable water.
Adighije who is also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the university said that with the assistance of some philanthropists, the university authorities was able to open some roads and cleared the bushes around the core areas of academic activities.
He indicated that the faculties of Arts, Education, Management Sciences, Social Sciences, and the Institute of Education were fully operational at the permanent site.
“This will enable the university cater for the new demands of students’ enrollment which is one cardinal reason for which the Federal University Lokoja was established.
“But regrettably, Council lacks the financial resources to bring to reality the necessary infrastructural needs of the university
“I therefore call on all those who in good faith, had made pledges to assist the university in one form or the other, to redeem their pledges.
“And I invite well-meaning Nigerians to come and support this great institution whose tremendous prospect is limitless,’’ Adighije said.
The pro-chancellor congratulated the 804 graduating students and charged them to be courageous, steadfast, passionate, strategic, to work hard and pursue their goals and watch amazing things happen.
“We are comforted that with the well-structured programmess of this university which are designed to prepare you for the industry, self-reliance and motivation will see you through the vicissitudes of life outside the confines of the university campus”, he said.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said the institution was graduating a total of 804 students found worthy in character and learning.
He said that 14 of the students graduated with First Class Honours degree; 188, Second Class Upper Division, 441 in Second Class Lower and 95, Third Class.
Akinwumi said that the students who obtained First Class were from the departments of Economics, 4; Geography, 1; Biological Sciences, 1; Chemistry, 2; Computer Science, 1; Mathematical Sciences, 2; Physics, 1 and Statistics, 2.
“Incidentally, this is my first convocation ceremony as the third substantive Vice Chancellor of the university and the first in the School of Post Graduate Studies where a total number of 66 Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) students in 10 various programmes will be graduating”, he added.
Coalition commends VC for instilling moral discipline in Dutse Varsity
The National President, Youth and Civil Society Coalition for Development, (YCSCD) Comrade Aminu Aminu, has commended the effort of the vice Chancellor of the Federal University Dutse (FUD) Professor Abdulkareem Sabo Muhammad in fighting moral degradation among students in the institution.
The president indicated out that in less than one year of appointment as VC of the University Muhammad has sanitized the institution from all forms of immorality involving students and members of the general public.
In a press statement issued in Abuja, Comrade Aminu said the VC is working to reposition the institution on the path of righteousness where learning would be in character and academic excellence.
The president described as impressive, measures put in place at the University to checkmate unhealthy activities and behaviors within the University Community.
According to the statement, the Vice Chancellor, conducts night patrol within the University Campus frequently to ascertain the level of compliance with the laid down rules as it affects the well being of the students in the University campus.
Some of the guiding rules the statement said included restriction on night visit to the University by people from outside in tinted cars to fetch girls for outing thereby puting their lives at risk.
Apart from the measures, the statement also noted the giant developmental strides being put in place under the leadership of Professor Muhammad, at the University which he said is turning round the academic activities in the University for excellence.
According to Aminu, Provision of water and electricity at the University campus has help greatly in making life easy for both students and other members of the University Community.
While commending the VC’s unprecedented efforts in putting the University on the path where it can earn public trust, the YCSCD’S president, Comrade Aminu Aminu, urged the management staff of the institution to rally support for the VC to succeed.
Comrade Aminu equally called on the general public within the vicinity of the University to take the students as their brothers and sisters and complement the effort of the University, particularly the VC, in guarding their morality and behaviors.
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