As the world commemorates the World Skills Day, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on the residents to change their negative perception of students in technical and vocational institutions across the country, and see them as scholars, who have taken the right path to achieve qualitative learning.
Sanwo-Olu, who called for resilience, restated his commitment to ensuring Lagos leads the conversation on Sustainable Development Goal 1 (SDG 1) in eliminating poverty and job creation in Nigeria.
Speaking on, “The New Normal: Implications of COVID-19 on Jobs and Future Skills Development,” during a virtual meeting organised by the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), the Governor disclosed measures put in place by the government to achieve a significant increase in the number of students in technical colleges.
He added that the state is targeting to train over 8,000 students in a few years, who will be skilled to be placed in decent jobs.In her remarks, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board `(LASTVEB), Ms Ronke Azeez, said the celebration should remind residents of the importance of training the younger generation for decent education, decent work and entrepreneurship, especially now that Nigerians are scrambling for jobs.
She said it gives the Board the opportunity to discuss the way forward with its partners, and to review the plans made before COVID-19.She highlighted three challenges that must be urgently addressed for a better technical and vocational institution in Lagos, which include the negative perception on technical and vocational education, stressing that the institution is a path that young people can take to achieve learning and also fulfil their dreams.
Azeez also identified the challenge on the use of data for education and continuous reskilling of teachers to be up-to-date for effective service delivery, reiterating the need to have data for education to make the Nigerian child to be competitive globally.
She said: “We must ensure teachers do not remain with the skills of yesterday, rather we must ensure they are experts of today’s and future skills. It requires reorientation and continuous retraining to make sure that they are ready for the future and post-COVID-19.
“During the period we have trained our teachers on how to teach online, and they have had the experience on how to develop content online. We have developed a learning platform for technical education and partner with organisations specifically for online training for technical and vocational education.”
The Lead Speaker and Co-founder of AACE Food Processing and Distribution, Ndidi Nwuneli, said there is a need for an agile and transparent government, dynamic entrepreneurs and skilled workforce with the requisite life and leadership skills for productive yields.
She also called for decisive actions and broad-based collaborations from governments and organisations to equip the youths digitally, to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She challenged Lagos State Government to lead the conversation on eliminating poverty and job creation in Nigeria by 2030, with the lowest unemployment rate.