The Federal Government said on Thursday that it was working towards developing a functional educational system that would make Nigerians self-reliant.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who disclosed this at the 64th Meeting of the National Council on Education in Port Harcourt, stated that technical and vocational education remained the key to the development of the country.
Adamu explained that entrepreneurship education and training had been acknowledged globally as a vital strategy for tackling youth unemployment.
He said, “There is no doubt that technical and vocational education and training holds the key to the development of our country’s industrial sector, thus the challenges of youth unemployment can best be addressed through quality education that guarantees self-reliance.
“Entrepreneurship education and training is globally acknowledged as an important strategy for tackling youth unemployment.
“In our drive to reposition education for self-reliance, particular attention has been given to the development of technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills in learners as the current administration has trained over 500 science, vocational and Mathematics teachers on the use of modern equipment and new approaches in schools.”
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government had granted approval for the establishment of new federal science and technical colleges in 16 states.
He added that government was improving access to quality education in different parts of the country.
In his remarks, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said that Nigeria would only attain development when citizens were empowered with the right knowledge and appropriate skills to contribute to national growth.
Wike, who made this statement while declaring open the on Thursday, explained that educational empowerment would equip the citizens to sustain themselves.
“The reality is that no country can be politically stable, economically robust and socially secure and cohesive if the citizens are not empowered with knowledge, appropriate skills and the right values to sustain themselves and contribute meaningfully to the progress of the country,” he said.
The governor called for the promotion of inclusive and quality education to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
He said, “Agenda 2030 is therefore a call to action on our collective commitment to transformative education by addressing all forms of exclusion, disparities and inequities and ensuring that every child, irrespective of social background, cultural affiliation, location and family or income status, is not left behind but have equal and equitable access to quality and transformative public education.
“This requires providing the enabling legal framework, adopting the right policies and programme of action, deploying adequate resources and manpower, including qualified teachers, in addition to a strong political will from government at all levels.”
He listed the lack of political by government, inadequate allocation of resources, lack of commitment and by parents, teachers and school leaders, lack of or ineffective monitoring policy implementation as some of the factors responsible for the deteriorated status of education across the country.
Wike said, “As a former Minister of State Education, I am quite familiar with the NCE and what it stands for as the highest national policy organ on education.
“During our time and under my watch as minister, we initiated and implemented several policies and programmes such as the Girl-Child Education programme, the Almajiri education policy and programme, and the Special Vocational/Basic Education programme for boys as well as the national policy on Albinism.”