Lagos - The Federal Government on Thursday said that it was focusing on development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to effectively manage unemployment among the youths.
The Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, announced in a message sent to the 36th Convocation of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, on Thursday in Lagos.
He was represented by Dr M’c-john Uwabiala, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education.
Shekarau said that TVET was being used as the springboard for entrepreneurial skills and bedrock for technology and economic development.
"TVET enjoys robust support in terms of funding, institutional materials and equipment.
"Teachers and students in this field also benefits from government grants and scholarships in order to sustain and maximise the benefit.
"Government has also encouraged interventions from TETFund, PTDF, Africa Development Bank and the MDGs for the TVET.
"This is to ameliorate the difficulties and challenges militating against capacity building among teachers in Colleges of Education generally."
The minister said that funding and security remained the major problems of education in recent times, and had been of great concern to all stakeholders.
According to him, the situation is, however, changing positively as managements of tertiary institutions are being encouraged to have access to TETFund to address problems of decayed infrastructure and learning environment.
"Government is concerned about the security of our youths and institutions of learning in the country.
"In line with this, all stakeholders have been urged to be more conscious,’’ he said.
Shekarau said that the primary mandate of technical education had not been relegated.
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"It is our policy to expose new teachers to technology education and make them more self-reliant and vocationally skilled to create wealth and check unemployment.
"In line with this mandate, government is focusing on TVET as the springboard for entrepreneurial skills and as bedrock for technology and economic development.
"Today’s ceremony represents a landmark in the lives of the graduating students, as they are being recognised as professionals in the art of teaching science, technical and vocational subjects.
"This is a great achievement at this time, when technical and vocational education holds the key to the success of our country’s industrial sector.
"A critical success factor in the actualisation of Nigeria’s vision, to become one of the 20 largest economies by year 2020, is the mass production of people with requisite vocational and technical skills and competence.
"The students are, therefore, to actualise our vision in the production of skilled technical manpower at the foundation level of our education system," Shekarau said.
The minister urged them to be of good conduct even in the wake of challenging times in the country.
He noted that technical education graduates "occupy an enviable position in the nation’s effort toward technological growth".
Earlier, the Provost of the college, Dr Sijibomi Olusanya, said that some of the graduating students deserved the conferment of award and prizes for Professional Diploma in Education and National Certificate in Education.
Approximately 3,682 students in the 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 sessions graduated, out of which 44 students received various awards and prizes.
A breakdown shows that 1,215 students graduated in the 2011/2012, 1,502 in 2012/2013 and 965 in the 2013/2014 session.
Olusanya said that Temitope Adelakun of the Integrated Science/Chemistry Department) emerged the overall best NCE student for the 36th convocation.