Some stakeholders in the nation’s education sector have called for functional vocational studies in the school curriculum to meet with the 21st century demands.

The stakeholders made the call at the 3rd Eduskills Fair held in Lagos on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Eduskills Fair seeks to promote ingenuity, creativity and skill acquisition through fair and exhibition.

The theme of the 3rd edition is “Unleashing Nigeria’s Human and Social Capital.”
The fair had University scholars, practitioners and entrepreneurs, with over 40 exhibitors in attendance.

The Convener, Dr. Onyeka Javibo-Ojigbo, said that the country needed to focus more on wealth creation through vocational training now than ever before.
Javibo-Ojigbo said: “We need to get our priorities right by engaging in vocational training right from the schools.

“Our schools should not only train people in theories only, it won’t take us anywhere.
“We can make things easier for ourselves in this 21st century if we can only get it right knowing that the only way to achieve wealth is through skill acquisition.

“We have seen graduates looking for jobs, this is because they have yet to discover themselves or seen reasons to harness their skills or what they are good at.

“If we want to be great as a nation, then we need to spend more time to re-train the instructors and encourage more skill acquisition through our educational curriculum.”
The Chairman of the fair, Mrs Bunmi Omeke, said that there was an urgent need to make sure that the nation’s graduates became self-reliant rather than depend on ready made job.

“Education should teach us how to stand on our own, be creative and innovative. It should not only be in theories.

“Nowadays, we need to retrain our graduates to help them meet up with the demands of the labour market, whereas this is what they should have learnt in school,” Omeke said.
Mrs Yetunde Ajibade, Director, Belleza Bambini, Lekki, said that there was no problem with the nation’s educational curriculum, pointing out that the problem had to do with the implementers.

Ajibade said: “Our problem is not the policy but the system saddled with the responsibilities of making the policy to work.

“We have it all but I guess some don’t even know what it is all about. The instructors themselves need to know the value of vocational studies then, they will be able to pass it on to the students.

“Also, skill acquisition should start from the home front. Parents should let their children understand the principles of innovation and creativity. The children should build on their talents.”

Prof. Adams Onuka of the University of Ibadan said that people should look away from white- collar jobs or government offices in order to discover themselves. Now, everyone wants to work in government office or engage in white-collar job. This cannot bring prosperity to us as a nation.

“We need people who are creative and innovative because this is what the developed countries have tried and it worked for them,” Onuka said.

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