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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
Graduate, Nigeria.

Abdulkareem Abdulmalik is the Kogi State Director-General, Bureau of Information Services and Grassroots Sensitization, whose responsibilities include mobilisation of people at the grassroots for the state and national development. In this interview with ATABOR JULIUS, he spoke on the acquisition of certificates and made a case for more but deliberate attention to technical and vocational education. Excerpts:

Capacity building is a vital component of technical and vocational education; in your own opinion does the Institute possess the required capacity to impart needed skills that will keep teeming unemployed youths off the streets?

This Korean international friendship institute which is located in Lokoja, Kogi state is first of its kind in Nigeria.

The institute is amazingly great, although it looks small when you enter the laboratory; you will discover a new world. I’m particularly happy because what made Korea, China, and India what they were today that keeps the whole world in their direction is exactly what is going to happen in Nigeria from Kogi state. This is because skills acquisition holds the ace for the new world order.

When you can produce at least 60% of your domestic needs, you can now stand top among competitive nations and dictate your own life. Nigeria as a nation has been suffering because we have been among consumer nations. However, I can say this Institute is a turning point that is already churning out graduates and taking in more and what else do we want.

Holders of Masters of Science degree, Engineers and Director with the state ministry of Justice were here and they have graduated. The point is that this Institute is not just for the children or the younger generation but for everybody across all areas of endeavours. This is a challenge for the civil servants who should enrol at the institute to acquire a skill prior to retirement. This Institute holds the ace.

After the skill acquisition training, what programme and plans does the government has in place to ensure that the knowledge acquired is put to gainful use?

The state Ministry of Justice is working on all this area. Already the School has been accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). All the needed impetus for the graduands to be effectively put to use is being worked out and I can assure you that in the next few years, the school will have more than enough students.

People would be coming here for admission opportunities because the Institute has opened a new start-up life for the young, old and everyone across the board.

The initial concept is for the students to visit Korea on attachment for at least three months before they graduate, is your government still keeping this close to its chest?

The state government despite the lean resources at its disposal will stop at nothing to collaborate. This is because it is a collaborative effort that led to the establishment of the school. The Korean Counterpart is doing their best as well as we are doing. This synergy between our Government and the Korean Counterpart would not allow the Institute to lack in all areas.

What then should the youth do to improve their conditions?

My advice to youths roaming the streets is for them to register and acquire skills. Also, I equally advise the graduating students to form a kind of cooperative group as nothing stops two or three people with like minds to own and operate a workshop together. In addition, nothing should stop others that are graduates with different skills coming together to form a hub of service as it is not easy for an individual to do it all alone. They can collectively form that and we can assist them to access fund from various agencies through the government and non-governmental sources.

The rushes to acquire strings of certificates and other levels of educational attainment, though good, have not really transformed the socio-economic life of the country. Nigerians love to acquire certificates after another is of concern because such baskets of degrees have not really changed our lives.

There are a number of Nigerians with five masters and multiple of PhDs that have not bring about the practical transformation of the society. Visit Asian countries, you will see a story building inhabited by a man, his wife and children. They occupy the top of the building while the ground floor will serve as a factory for their businesses. That was how industrialisation blossomed in those countries. We have to start thinking in that direction and not how many certificates one possess but what one can do to add value to his life and the society.

Recently the FG planned to convert some polytechnics to degree awarding institutions, what is your take on this?

Nigeria’s education system is the same with that of the Chinese that converted some of their Universities to polytechnics not long ago. However, if we see something positive in the move nothing should stop the country from embracing it.

Every country has its own system as far as education is concerned. For instance, Finland is a tiny country but has the best educational system in the world. There is room for Nigeria to also learn from them. It is a thing of the experimental world if we try this and it didn’t work, we shouldn’t relent but try another model.

There was a time Nigerian Government discovered that the country lacked enough teachers, thus teachers colleges were established and by the time that programmes have achieved desired results, the institutions were dismantled. There was also a time that the nation needed technical manpower and that led to the establishment of technical colleges across the country and when it has achieved national goals, they were discarded.

I think at this point in time, that is the kind of project that every government should give attention and priority.

For a way of motivation for the younger generation, there should be a policy for tuition waivers so that they can acquire skills and technical know-how and it is the technical and innovative education that has moved and keep moving Asians to advance world.

Your government at inception did promise to give priority to technical education, to what extent has this been pursued and achieved?

The government is on it and we will not go back because the Governor has travelled wide. He is so deeply involved in finding effective means through which the education system can be enhanced so that at the end of the day our children will be getting value for their education. The government is working hard in this direction.

Source: https://independent.ng/nigeria-country-of-multiple-degrees-phd-holders-abdulmalik/

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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
Graduate, Nigeria.
Nigeria, Country Of Multiple Degrees, Ph.D. Holders with high unemployment

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