The Federal Government said on Saturday that it would soon launch a new education strategy, 2016 to 2020, to serve as a guiding framework for transforming the sector.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said at the 32nd combined convocation and Diamond Jubilee ceremony of the Kaduna Polytechnic that the strategy would inspire efforts to bring the capacity of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems to levels where they could respond to multiple demands.
“The aim is to give access to affordable and quality technical and vocational education and training for the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.
“The Federal Government has identified the relevance of polytechnic education in the country’s socio-economic development and is aware of the big gully between the non-formal technical education and the formal TVET.
“Our conviction is that the national vocational framework will integrate the non-formal sector of vocational trade with the formal TVET for maximum result and impact,’’ he said.
Mr. Adamu described education as “a veritable tool for the growth and development of any nation,’’ adding that all hands must be on deck for the country to be rated high in the comity of nations.
The minister, represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Masa’udu Kazaure, called on well-meaning Nigerians, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to support the government in funding the sector.
The minister equally urged the graduates to contribute their quota in stirring the country in the right direction and place it on the shoes of excellence in technology, high morals and unquestionable integrity.
“You must strive to leave your footsteps on the sand of time and make remarkable contributions to the development of this great nation,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Gov Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State stressed that no country would move forward without technical education.
El-Rufai said that Nigeria needed technical manpower with sound innovation, creativity and the ability to take risk in entrepreneurship to move the nation to greater heights.
He said that the current administration was aware of the myriad of challenges affecting the sector, adding that plans are underway to improve investment in the sector to put it on the right path.
The convocation was organised for 67,403 students who graduated from the institution from the 2005/2006 academic session to the 2014/2015 session.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Mohammed Ibrahim, said that out of the figure, 2,350 graduated with distinction, 15,680 with Upper Credit while the rest graduated with lower credit and pass.
“The polytechnic is highly cosmopolitan with students from all over Nigeria; from a modest figure of 158 students in 1961 to currently 40,000 students undertaking more than 140 programmes in 44 academic departments and with staff strength of 4,000 academic and non-academic staff members.
Ibrahim said that arrangement had reached an advanced stage with the NBTE for the take-off of 12 new academic programmes.
He added that during the period under review, 633 staff members were given opportunities to obtain additional qualification with 107 bagging Doctorate degrees, 150 Masters degrees and 416 first degrees and similar qualifications. (NAN)
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