#Editorial

Ondo’s Proposed Technical Colleges

TECHNICAL education has been described as the training of technically oriented personnel who are to be the initiators, facilitators and implementers of technological development of a society. According to the Nigerian National Policy on Education, technical education is concerned with qualitative technological human resources development directed towards a national pool of skilled and self-reliant craftsmen, technicians and technologists in technical and vocational education fields. Also, UNESCO stated that the fundamental purpose of technical and vocational education is to equip people with skills that can broaden their opportunities in life and help them to play an important role in preparing them for the world of work and to provide them with the skills necessary for self-employment. In sum, technical education provides opportunities for the mastery of skills and knowledge in selected occupations as well as for the development of personality for useful living.

THE  above underscores the importance of technical education which technical colleges are designed to actualize and because technical colleges play vital roles in national development, a number of technical schools were established in Nigeria including Ondo State to train and produce technicians for industry, to impart vital technical skills in the youths, help towards the goal of self-employment and job creation and in the struggle towards technological advancement and acquisition. Through the Technical colleges, youths acquire such skills as skilled technicians: bricklayers, carpenters, painters and auto mechanic, laboratory and pharmacy technicians, electrical/electronic technicians and skilled vocational nurses among others.

UNFORTUNATELY, despite the interest and commitment shown by governments in technical education, the available technical schools are inadequate and the available schools are poorly developed while they are less subscribed to by students because of overwhelming focus on university education. Put differently, despite the glaring contributions of technical and vocational education, Nigeria is yet to accord this type of education the attention it deserves. This is one of the major reasons for the rising unemployment, poverty and unabated crimes in the Nigerian society.

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IT was therefore a delightful and commendable development when the Ondo State government as part of its determination to promote acquisition of technical skills for entrepreneurship by young people in the state decided to build two new model technical schools in the state before the end of 2024.

 THE governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, opined that current global economic realities have made it necessary for young people to gain technical skills to become solution providers and entrepreneurs. And to show the seriousness of government in this regard, he revealed that the 2024 budget has made provisions for the establishment of the two new model technical colleges, in addition to the existing ones across the state that would also receive attention.

THUS  against the poor condition and attention given to technical education in Nigeria and the fact that there is gross shortage of competent and well trained technicians and artisans in Ondo State and Nigeria in general, the government’s initiative is not just commendable but very apt and good for the overall development of the country. This is because the initiative will create more job opportunities and reduce the reliance of Nigerians on technicians and artisans from neighbouring West African countries for quality workmanship that are not readily available because of the neglect of technical education. 

IT should be emphasised that the existing technical colleges in the state like other states of Nigeria suffer greatly from neglect and discrimination, inadequate funding, lack of basic equipment and facilities required to train technicians, brain drain to other educational institutions, poor working environment for staff and a host of other problems.

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THEREFORE, to ensure the success of the new initiative of establishing two model technical colleges in the state, the new colleges should not be left to suffer like the existing colleges. Thus, the new technical colleges must be well funded and efforts must also be made to upgrade and improve the existing technical colleges that are shadow of themselves. Adequate resources must be committed to the new and existing technical colleges if the purpose of the government in promoting technological development of the state and the country is to be realized.

THERE  is the need to reorientate and encourage the youths to subscribe to, embrace and take to technical education that can easily guarantee them employment and better future. The discrimination between technical/technological education in the country should be removed while skill acquisition that can promote sustainable development of the state and nation be encouraged and supported by all Nigerians. There is also the need to create technical or industrial hub that will offer opportunities for training and employment of products of the technical colleges. The national policy on education needs to be reworked to better promote technical education that have been relegated by university education.

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