As part of activities to mark this year’s convocation by management and students of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, the institution has held a conference on the need to integrate vocational skill acquisition into the higher education curriculum.
The conference with the theme: Vocational Skill Acquisition, Leverage, unemployment, Social Vices, Food Insecurity and Technical Retardation for Sustainable Development in Nigeria” was held at the conference hall of the postgraduate block of the institution on Tuesday.
Pro. E. O. Anaele, a lecturer in the faculty of Industrial and Technical Education University of Nigeria Nsuka in his keynote presentation defined ” Sustainable development as the development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs “.
He said that technical and professional skills should be encouraged by both the Federal and State government to enhance capacity building that will improve the welfare of the people.
He pointed out that the poverty in the country has led the youths into social vices, adding that the get rich syndrome in the society has blinded a lot of persons from acquiring skills proficiently.
He said, ” institutions should be aided so as to reduce the level of devil’s advocate (idleness amongst youth), they should promote vocational skills in the various institution”.
He added that teaching vocational subjects should be taken seriously in primary and secondary schools to improve students vocational skills. He also said that higher institutions should make it mandatory for students before graduating to enrol and acquire vocational skills as part of their academic work, saying “when you have a skill, you will leverage employment “.
He used the medium to call on the government to improve on teachers salary at all level. He also advised that there should be no disparity among teachers, but rather, there should be love among them.
On his part, the lead paper presenter, Prof. Onyewuchi Akaranta, said ” education has a key role to play in acquiring vocational skill, and to also create a world that is just, sustainable and by that, individuals and the society will be equipped’.
Prof Onyewuchi recommended that vocational and technical education should be integrated as part of general education. He also added that it should be an instrument for promoting environmentally sound sustainable development, a method of facilitating poverty alleviation.
Continuing, he said that, “there’s a target on how we can make sustainable development growth to work”.
He said that by 2030, education in the classroom and education outside the classroom will impact on the economy.
The Don added that Nigeria will have to consider intergenerational equity. And to optimize resources in Nigeria, Nigeria should promote vocational education because an unskilled person cannot add anything to the building of the economy.
On his part, Associate Prof. Isaac Ogunda, the local organizing committee chairman of the conference, and the SIWES coordinator in Ignatius Ajuru University of Education said the institution so far have been able to advocate and push for skills within subsector in technical education.
He said that ” it has been known widely that when people are pushed to the wall, they tend to react, so in the present circumstances in which we find ourselves, the mirage of social vice’s, we ought to respond by developing skills to fight unemployment, and when that is done, it will be reduced to the barest minimum, the social vices and criminality around us.
Also, he recommended that the use of vocational skills in combating social vices in our society is what will take us out of this mess that we are in Nigeria.
He also recommended that technical colleges be renamed to vocational colleges. And that a state of emergency be declared on vocational and technical education whereby technical colleges now called vocational education will be expanded to absorb people in agriculture, computer education, home economics and other vocational related courses. At that level, people can pick these skills and they can establish on their own rather than waiting for university education or on white collar jobs.