Here in this post, we are going to examine the role of vocational and technical education in Nigeria. We hope you find this article informative.
Vocational and technical education formerly known as “education for work” focuses on inculcating learners with the abilities and knowledge required to take up trades or crafts. It was introduced to help reduce the rate of unemployment in Nigeria as well as granting hands-on skills to Nigerians most especially the Nigerian youth.
Unemployment is one major challenge affecting Nigeria amongst other challenges. Unemployment in Nigeria skyrocketed from 5% in 2010 to 17.5% in 2017.
This however kept on rising as a result of the recent economic recession in Nigeria. This problem of unemployment has led to other issues like a rise in crime rate, suicide rate, etc.
Many employers believe that Nigerian graduates are unemployable because the traditional educational system usually involves so many theories and a lack of practical use of the knowledge acquired.
For example, there are graduates of building technology who know the theoretical approach to the building but cannot apply it in the real world. It was at this point that Vocational and Technical education was introduced.
Vocational and technical education existed a very long time ago in Nigeria but it existed in the form of apprenticeship and handicrafts.
It was formally introduced when foreign merchants and missionaries came into Nigeria. Foreign organizations such as Shell and Chevron utilized this means of education to train many of the indigenous employees to function effectively.
The Nigerian government envisioned the benefit of incorporating Vocational and Technical education formally into the Nigerian technical system and subsequently created bodies like NABTEB to oversee this educational system as well as issue certificates to graduates.
The following are roles which the Vocational and Technical education play in the Nigerian Economy:
1. Vocational and technical education provides employment opportunities that combat the increasing rate of unemployment among Nigerian graduates.
It empowers individuals through with skills that are in demand in the global market. Skills and knowledge are the driving powers behind economic growth and development for any country.
Nations with greater and better levels of skills adjust more effectively to the demands and opportunities of the global labour market. More self-reliant individuals are birthed with this form of education.
2. Vocational and technical education plays a major role in the improvement of the standard of living of the nation.
The standard of living of a country is a measure of the material aspects of an economy. It counts the number of goods and services produced and available for purchase by a person, family, group, or nation (thebalance.com).
More goods and services are been produced thereby making Nigeria more of a producer and an exporter than a consumer.
3. Vocational and technical education allows for the exploitation of the natural and inborn talents in youths.
The talents are properly harnessed and directed towards the right channel. A young Nigerian man once built a car with locally sourced materials.
These talented kinds of individuals, if properly trained in the vocational and technical education system, have a very high probability of manufacturing machines that are usually imported.
4. Vocational and technical education allows the beneficiaries to decide on their career path. It is at the point of practice that they discover things that they are fascinated about and follow through to achieve their dreams.
For example, a teenager who is been trained in the construction field may develop a particular interest in the construction of bridges.
He then narrows down his pursuit of the construction of bridges. He could pick up internships with reputable companies that specialize in bridge construction.
5. Vocational and technical education allows for Economic stability. As employment opportunities arise in the country, there will be a rise in the GDP of the nation and a drastic reduction in crime rate.
6. Vocational and technical education indirectly reduces monopoly. Investopedia defines a monopoly as a kind of structure that exists when one company or supplier produces and sells a product.
In this kind of system, prices are usually high because there is no competition. With the introduction of this kind of education, more technical know-how is introduced into the market, thereby reducing prices and making it affordable to anyone.
7. Vocational and technical education Provides trained manpower in the technology, advanced craft, and technical levels.
8. Vocational and technical education allows youths into fields like Agriculture, car and machine repairs.
In the past jobs like those mentioned have been handled by illiterates and the elderly. It was seen as a dirty job unfit for a university graduate.
With the introduction of this form of education, more youths are introduced into this sector. This directly brings about an increase in the production of food in the country.
9. Vocational and technical education allows for flexibility. The traditional educational system requires a full-time dedication which isn’t favourable to a nursing mother or a part-time worker.
Vocational and technical education resolves this as classes can be fixed for weekends, and on a part-time basis.
10. Vocational and technical education allows easy access to affordable education. The requirement to gain access to traditional education in Nigeria is quite high.
There is a need to have a certain JAMB score, WAEC result and POST UTME score. It is also more expensive.
This is what gives the vocational and technical education advantage over the traditional educational system in Nigeria.
11. Vocational and technical education allows people of like passions to connect and relate together.
Two heads are surely better than one. Individuals in a particular sector can rub minds together to birth incredible inventions.
12. However, there are problems associated with the implementation of vocational and technical education in Nigeria which includes.
Lack of funds, discrimination by the society, a very larger trainee to trainer ratio which makes it cumbersome for the trainer.
Vocational and technical education is a very good choice and should be further incorporated into the Nigerian education system.
Vocational schools give students an opportunity to learn in an extremely career-focused environment with hands-on training and built-in internships with expert trainers.Click here to see the latest Study Abroad Scholarships and Guides
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