FROM: Dappa Maharajah.
THE Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji (FEDPOLEL), Prof. Adedayo Fasakin, has urged government at all levels to focus more technical and vocational education so as to abate the alarming rate of unemployment in the country, and for national prosperity.
Fasakin said this during the First Foundation Day Lecture of the institution on Thursday, titled: “Building Entrepreneurial and Self-reliant Graduates through Technical and Vocational Education.”
He emphasized that entrepreneurship education is the global drive and thrust for development, urging the government to make it a policy for all institutions to salvage the scaring statistics of unemployed youths in Nigeria.
According to him, FEDPOLEL recently advertised 50 vacancies for employment opportunities, but to his dismay, over 12, 000 applicants applied for the jobs.
“This trend is dangerous and must be reversed. This is why entrepreneurship education is mandatory and why it should be the concern of every focused and sensitive 21st century polytechnic,” he said.
The Guest lecturer, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin, the Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, noted that youth unemployment in the country is a critical issue with massive implications on the economy.
“As at today, more than 25 million graduates of formal institutions are unemployed with more than 1.5 million graduates joining the labour market every year.”
Gbadegesin pointed out that most governments across the world have resorted to entrepreneurship, vocational and technical education to create vast employment and socio-economic opportunities.
He identified some obstacles against it to include failure to distinguish between entrepreneurship, technical and vocational education; shortages of lecturers with practical trainings.
Others were: inadequate funding by governments, obsolete facilities and equipment, lack of functional school curriculum, poor quality of top management personnel, just to mention a few.
The VC tasked the Federal Government to release adequate funds for the institutions so that they can embark on research, infrastructural development and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).
Nonetheless, he implored all institutions to identify and embrace a synergy between entrepreneurship and TVET as complimentary skills to achieving both immediate and future goals.
“The curriculum in entrepreneurship and vocational training should be local, state and national industries-driven in order to respond to societal needs and develop local content in the country,” Gbadegesin said.
Akingboye Joseph Oluwaseun