EXECUTIVE SECRETARY BLAMES NATION’S WOES ON LACK OF FUNCTIONAL EDUCATION
The Executive Secretary has blamed the failure of functional education for the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria.
Prof. Bugaje said in a paper delivered at the maiden edition of Science Conference of Kaduna State University that the high unemployment and security challenges in the country can be related to the failure of educational system to live up to the provisions of the National Policy on Education (NPE).
According to him “Nomadic education has failed and that’s why some herders became bandits, University and Polytechnic education has failed and that’s why we have joblessness within abundant skills gaps”.
He stated that though securing Nigeria in the short term mean putting more boots on ground, what is required in the long term is upskilling the Nigerian youths for economic empowerment.
Prof. Bugaje in the paper “Role of Science in the job creation and economic revitalisation”, lamented the skills mismatch prevalent in Nigeria leading to unemployed graduates roaming the streets with huge skills gap in our industries.
He cited a World Bank (2015) report that shows four in ten Nigerians “Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)” having senior secondary education or higher and are largely unemployed.
The situation, he pointed out lies in TVET to address these skills gaps and provide a strategic roadmap to end the acute unemployment and improve security in Nigeria, stressing that “Skills have become the global labour currency of the 21st century economics”.
His recommendations include:
the need for urgent introduction of apprenticeship training under the Nigeria Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) across the country right from Technical Colleges;
the upgrading of facilities of Technical Colleges (TCs) for NSQ Training in terms of infrastructure and equipment;
the need for Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs) in Higher Educational Institutions to start Level/modular training of students on specific skills (Levels 1-2);
and the need to merge and harmonize the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) into a new platform on a new paradigm, to be known as National Skills Fund (NSF) which is to become the leading NSQ and Students’ SIWES Funding Agency and modelled along the Moroccan OFPPT among others.