By Ossom Raphael
The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari, has said that there is a need for the the harmonisation general education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) certificates in order to remove the dichotomy that exists between them.
Ari, who said the harmonisation of certificates would go a long way to address Nigeria’s unemployment problem, also advocated for monitoring and regulating of informal sectors that produce artisans to reduce quacks.
Ari said this in a paper presentation titled Technical Education and National Development in Nigeria: Leveraging Human Capital Development for Technological Resilience,” delivered on Monday at the National War College, Abuja.
The ITF boss also called for more robust synergy among agencies of government in the area of human capacity building so as to tackle the rising level of unemployment in the country.
He told participants at the event that there is need to strengthen collaboration between technical institutions and industries, to meet up with labor market demand.
In addition, the ITF DG stated that the government needs to establish Teachers Industrial Work Experience Scheme (TIWES) as well as adopting state-of-the-art measures that support human capacity development through engaging human expertise empowered by research.
He further said that stakeholders in Technical Education and National development should develop explicit operational policies that drive human resource development, and called for the overhauling of the TVET system with policies that provides more funding for tools, equipment and facilities
He said, “It is pertinent for all stakeholders in the TVET ecosystem to understand their roles. Indeed, across the globe, countries that successfully deployed TVET for job creation and technological resilience did so on account of the synergy among its various institutions.
“However, in our dear country, rather than collaboration and cooperation, turf protection and the tendency to indulge in the blame game have firmly taken hold in most institutions that have bearing on the capacity building of Nigerians.
“I say this taking in cognizance of recent declarations by persons that ordinarily should be familiar with the respective mandates of individual organisations involved in the manpower development in Nigeria but chose to conveniently to display appalling ignorance.
“For purposes of clarification, it needs to be stressed that the Industrial Training Fund is specifically mandated to promote, encourage and provide skilled manpower to meet the needs of both private and public sectors of the economy.
“Throughout its years of existence, it has pursued this mandate using apprenticeship training in both formal and informal sectors, skills upgrading and broadening for on the-job development among its many activities.”
With the institutionalization of the National Apprenticeship Training System (NATS), Ari said the ITF will enhance the capacity of artisans, craftsmen and technicians for employability and provide Nigerians with the relevant skills and competencies that will grow the economy
He added, “The mandate of the ITF is very clear on the expectations of it. Therefore, the notion that the ITF should develop the entrepreneurship curriculum of tertiary institutions is entirely outside of the scope of its mandate and the responsibility of other Regulatory Agencies.
“I must also strongly stress that the sooner the Agencies of Government involved in human capacity development find ways of working together, the easier for us to arrive at enduring solutions to curbing the numerous national challenges using the TVET template.
“We are therefore urging all stakeholders in TVET to collaborate with the ITF to move our Nation forward.”
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