We work to revamp all vocational, technical colleges in Ebonyi - Adaeze Nwaji

The Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Vocational Education, Princess Adaeze Nwaji said on Monday  that her office is currently working towards the revamp and  re-organisation of all the vocational and technical colleges in the state. She stated this in an exclusive interview with NATIONAl PANEL reporter while speaking on her achievements since assumed office and other candinal issues related to her  current office - all concerning how to promote vocational education in Ebonyi State and Nigeria in general, Ben Chukwuebuka writes:

* May I meet you?

I am (Dr.) Princess Adaeze Nwaji, Esq. The Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Vocational Education. 

*Your achievements since assumed this office?

As the Special Assistant to the Governor on Vocational Education, I would recount my achievements as follows:

Establishment of the foremost Ebonyi State Vocational College which is my first call of duty. 

Reorganization of Vocational and Technical schools in Ebonyi State. I and my  team of volunteers and staff are currently working towards the revamp and re-organization of all the Vocational and Technical Institutions and Colleges in our State.

This is very important and remarkable as their unity will serve as a solid foundation for Vocational and Technical Skill acquisitions to thrive in the State. 

Not quite long ago, on 19th October, 2020, I had an important meeting with the National Association of Vocational and Technical Colleges of Nigeria, Dr. Ene Nwannaji, the President of the association, Hon. Chief Francis Eze Igwe, the National Vice President and the Principal of Folk Technical College Ikwo., Hon. Ogiji Felix, the State Chairman of the association and some other State executives were in attendance. 

The meeting was centered on the dire need to rekindle the light of Vocational Education, not just in Ebonyi State, but Nigeria at Large.

In same spirit, we unanimously agreed to hold the first National Vocational Conference here in Ebonyi, in the month of December.

I believe that this will give a facelift to Vocational Education in Ebonyi State. It will go a long way to showcase the talents that have been hidden amongst us and as well, give room for them to be harnessed.

So the unity of the Vocational Education Systems and proper sensitization of the masses are keys and should be the first points of duty.

* In considering the economic situation of this country, running vocational college in Ebonyi State, is it safe? 

Without mincing words, the answer is Yes!

In fact, I would say that Vocational Education is the safest way to go, considering the situation of both our National and State Economy.

Undoubtedly, the challenges of Nigeria as a nation have been compounded and complicated with high level of unemployment. The protracted effect of the foregoing is youth restiveness and hardship.

Basically, I don't have issues with the circular and conventional school system, it's wonderful and amazing, I am a product of conventional Education. 

We spent several years in conventional schools and graduated only to become job seekers with no practical skills . This is disheartening and unbearable.

So, to created a sustainable and robust economy for our State and Country at large, people must have to embrace Vocational and Technical Education.

Through Vocational and Technical Education, which apparently revolves around Skills and Entrepreneurial Acquisitions, people are groomed and empowered to be self-reliant and employers of Labour, job creators.  

Nevertheless, Vocational Education is an ever lucrative venture, as it reduces the rate of importation, builds employers of labour and guarantees constant growth in innovation.

Take Ebonyi State Vocational College as case-study which is one of the Vocational centers in Ebonyi State, established by His Excellency Engr Chief David Nweze Umahi led administration. The College has achieved numerous commendable feats within it's short period of foundation. 

To mention but a few, the department of Fashion and Beauty of the College was one of the first in the country to venture into the production and manufacturing of face mask, face shield and medical scrubs. The department of cosmetology also is in the production of hand sanitizers, which were produced in hundreds of thousands and geared towards assisting the government in the fight against COVID 19 and protecting the lives of the citizens. These are not far fetched from what would have been imported, had it been people were not trained and equiped on the production of those products.

In same vein, the department of Automobile Mechatronics has completed the construction and assembling of several Solar Electric Tricycles, which uses sunlight energy and alternatively, rechargeable using electricity; first of its kind in our country. 

This is in line with the fulfillment of the zero oil initiative of the visionary leader of Ebonyi State, His Excellency, Chief Engr. David Nweze Umahi and also support green transport system which has proven to be more eco friendly. In addition, the college is currently working on the fabrication of helicopter, what an innovation, people here are so talented beyond our imagination. 

Also, the department of Building Construction has become a trusted hand in the manufacturing of quality paints and training professional painters.

Moreso, it is on record that His Excellency the governor, Chief Engr. David Nweze Umahi  has recently installed about 240Killowatt solar power plant, and this has guaranteed an uninterrupted power supply in the College; and aided the training of Solar Energy Technology students of the college.

The college in its entirety has grown to become a household name in the field of skills, innovation and entrepreneurial acquisitions.

On the other parts, Government Technical College Afikpo, Folk Technical College Ikwo, Government Technical College Abakaliki  have been doing well since inception and my office is committed to bring more Colleges to limelight and work hand-in-glove with our Excellent-Driven Governor and the State government in repositioning Vocational and Technical Education in Ebonyi State and Nigeria.

Evidently, Vocational Education is sustainable in Ebonyi State because our Governor is people oriented. 

*It is like the resonsiveness of students towards vocational education in Ebonyi State not really encouraging?

Knowledge is power and Lack of information is an apparent  deformity. 

The response of the teeming students who have embraced the goodness of Vocational Education is commendable. For instance, Ebonyi State Vocational College where I serve as the Director General, students of the college are so grossly attached to their programmes that they found it difficult vacating during pandemic break; It was really amazing to me. They were passionate and filled with burning desires to learn and be impacted.

From my assessment so far, our people are as much creative as intelligent. Their level of innovation and understanding is rare. Hence, I do not believe in the concept of "Lazy Nigeria Youths". 

It is said that where purpose is not known nor achieved, abusive is inevitable. The issue is that most youths who are creative and innovative lack the enabling environment to explore and develop them. Once the environment is conducive, you will know that our people are blessed with brains and talents.

However, today, we thank God for the revival of our Vocational Education. In no distant time, more results will abound.

* The challenges facing vocational college (s) in Ebonyi State today?

As the Special Assistant to the Governor on Vocational Education, I would say, that Vocational Education just like other sectors and areas of engagement has its challenges.

One of the major areas that eminently affect the system is inadequate funding. Indeed, Ebonyi State Government has been doing her best even with the meagre resources, to uplift the Colleges and Technical acquisition centers in the state, but the truth is that it is never  enough. However, we have remained resolute and undeterred knowing that no amount is ever enough. We must continue to build in couches till we arrive our destination. As well, we still appeal to Non Governmental Agencies, International Organization and Federal Government to assist the Vocational Institutions with funding, technical assistance and donation of vocational materials.

On the other hand, we face the challenge of poor awareness and inadequate sensitization. Of a truth, so many persons are yet to hear and embrace Vocational Education. This is one of the major areas of interest, as there is need for radical sensitization and widespread information about the education. This can be achieved using prints, electronics and social media both locally and globally.
Meanwhile, as we agitate for this, we do not forget also that quality service delivery is the easiest form of advertisement. As we await influx of people into the field, we have remained committed to training of the enrolled personnels, the best way  we can.

Again, the Vocational College also suffers inadequate workforce to match the population of prospective enrolments into vocational training school. There is obviously a need for the recruitment of more staff and Skilled Artisans  who will adequately commiserate with the population and foster proper training of students.

Above all, Ebonyi State is one of the states in Nigeria with the least number of Public and Private Vocational and Technical Colleges. This is not health for our dear State, but I sincerely believe that our Government is availing herself to changing  the narrative. I equally appeal to well-meaning individuals and NGOs to as a matter of urgency, venture into Vocational Education Investment to alleviate poverty in the country.

* Your advice to people especially the youths on formal education and skills acquisition?

Well, it is very important that all and sundry note that the society is gradually metamorphosing from "Certificate" to "Sabi-ficate."

Most business owners are more interested in what you can do, than the certificate you are carrying. This is the reason why you see people that studied Geology working in the bank, people who studied Physcis working in hotels et al.  
It is unhealthy for us as a Nation, but at moment, it looks as though we can't do anything about it. 

I humbly advise our unemployed graduates in the labour market not to relent nor loose hope.

As a matter of fact, I  strongly propose that they learn skills and entrepreneurship as an alternative means of survival. With practical knowledge of skills, many graduated have abandoned their certificates upon discovery that their skills pay pretty much better than white collar jobs.

Again, I advise those who studied technical courses, like Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and to enroll  into Vocational crash programmes, where you they enhance their proficiency and effectiveness in the field. This is very important. It will them edge over their contemporaries.

Youthfulness is a vapour, and we must learn to make the best out of it before it will not last forever.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post