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Vocational Education System: NBTE Boss harps on 7th Industrial Stakeholders’ Resolution

 “Vocational system of education is answer to Nigeria” – NBTE Boss

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Mohammed Bugaje, has said that industries and other employers of labour are key drivers for the development, delivery and quality assurance of skills eco-system in any given society.

Bugaje, who made the revelation to journalists in Kaduna during the week, said the system of education was the resolution of the 7th Industry Stakeholders’ Consultation on Skills Development in Abuja.

“In the light of this, the NBTE in partnership with German International Development Agency (GIZ), under its Skills for Youth Employment programme (SKYE), organized the 7th industry stakeholders’ consultation on skills development, which was held on 2nd December, 2021, at Tsukunda House, Constitution Avenue, Abuja.

Bugaje said over 130 industry players, development partners, sector skills councils (SSCs), awarding bodies, training providers, MDAs, organized private sector and the media are among those that attended the consultation.

“The objective of the consultation was to create the much-needed awareness on 21st Century skills training system, Nigerian Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) and the need for the involvement of industry in development, delivery and quality assurance of the skills eco-system,” Bugaje added.

The executive secretary of the national board for technical education in a paper, which was signed by Prof Idris Mohammed Bugaje, and Engr SM Yusuf, the chair LOC that made available to news men in Kaduna, revealed that the NBTE is all out to change the narratives from the certification of polytechnics to the vocational system of education where the country can have much-needed manpower with the intention to move the Nation and the people forward.

Because, according to them, “Only three polytechnics are doing the vocational training system of education, while all the rest are giving out certificates of education.

“Like in Kaduna Polytechnic, they are doing vocational education with Fanteka, and Wari Polytechnic are into Oil and Gas welding. So, with this we are calling on all the rest of the polytechnics to go for NSQ so that the country will be great.”

He gave an example with Germany as a country, that, they have a system of education whereby 80% of their schools are vocational education system, while only 20% are presenting certificates to the graduating students. That gave them a powerful economic system, which they have three days in schools and three days in vocational education.

“Nigeria now needs over 5,000 Oil and Gas pipelines welders, which makes the country to look from outside the country.

“Even Dangote Refinery – they import over 2,000 from India because Nigeria lacks the capacity of those that can do the job. With this, actually we are having a big issue, which we shall do everything possible to resolve the matter at our hands for better, as I know and speak out.”

According to the statement, after the much discussion and deliberations, the consultation noted the following 20 issues that include the critical role of industries in skills development, the proliferation of skills certification by different MDAs, weak linkage between industry and training institutions, among others.

And the consultation resolved on 12 issues that include collapse of all skills certifications into NSQ, establish national skills fund. To avoid over taxation on industries, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is recommended to be transformed to NSF and a new paradigm of funding skills development but not to be a trainer and/or awarding body.

Bugaje noted that, people should know that, the Trade Test Certificate is the list value in the country. The contents of the NSQ are to be developed by the industries, not by the polytechnics, with the aims of having a good vocational education system in Nigeria.

The technical papers were presented at the consultation meeting with the following titles; ‘Overview of the Nigerian Skills Eco-system,’ by Prof. Idris M. Bugaje, the executive secretary National Board for Technical Education.

And the other one is on ‘Industry Partnership in Skills Delivery: International Perspective,’ by Mr Felix Nitz, programme coordinator of GIZ SKYE.

At the end of each paper, questions, comments and observations were taken from the participants and the presented notes and responses to some of the questions.

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