By JOHNSON EBIGIDE.
Delta State Director-General of the State Orientation Bureau, Barrister Eugene Azuka Uzum, has said that acquisition of technical education is key in the fight against the rising plague of unemployment in the country.
Barrister Uzum made the assertion when he led some principal officers of the bureau in a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Education in Asaba.
Speaking in the office of the Commissioner for Vocational and Technical Education, Honourable Gbubemi Ikolo, the orientation boss maintained that white collar jobs were no longer readily available for the ever growing products of the present educational system in the country.
Adding that the possible way out was an urgent paradigm shift to vocational and technical education which would ensure that the products of the vocational and technical schools are not only self- employed, but employers of labour.
He said that it was unfortunate that most parents relegated acquisition of technical education to the background, adding that there was the urgent need to sensitise and reorient the populace on the danger inherent in mere acquisition of certificates that could not guarantee job opportunities for the holders of such certificates in the country.
He said that the State Orientation Bureau was saddled with the onerous task of not only moulding public perceptions of the state government’s policies and programmes, but that the bureau also markets such policies and programmes by partnering with the various ministries and extra ministerial agencies in the state.
While congratulating Honourable Ikolo for her appointment as the pioneer Commissioner for Vocational and Technical Education in the state, Barrister Uzum posited that Governor Okowa made the right choice in the appointment of the commissioner.
He solicited the collaboration of the ministry with the bureau towards a joint realisation of the set goals of the two MDAs in their areas of common interest.
Responding, Honourable Ikolo thanked Barrister Uzum for the visit, saying that it was timely, considering the need to build a strong advocacy machinery to change the wrong perceptions of some parents about acquisition of technical education.
She said that there was lack of awareness about the derivable benefits of acquiring technical education in the country, noting that while many Nigerians with mere paper qualifications were roaming the streets in search of the dwindling white collar jobs.
Foreigners from mostly neighbouring countries with the requisite technical depth were being employed, owing to their observable competence and capacity which was necessary for high productivity.
Honourable Ikolo promised to partner with the bureau to ensure that enrolments into the vocational centres and technical colleges across the state continue to rise towards turning out products that would not only be self sustaining but employers of labour in the state.