By Engr. (Dr.) Abasiono Okon
In time memorial, education has been an advent for development which is conceived in the mind and developed with praxis to solve the many needs of humanity which paradoxically not achieved till date. Education has been the major source of information and knowledge. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. The fact remains that education plays a vital role in the development of every nation; hence, it is of paramount importance for every citizen to be adequately educated. On the other hand, technical education is much more pivotal to national development. In addition to general education, technical education is that branch of education which involves the study of applied sciences, technologies as well as the acquisition of various practical skills, understanding and the knowledge in relation to occupations in various sectors of economic life. It is a major means of preparing young adults for occupational fields and effective participation in the world of employment or work. In the light of this, it is deducible that technical education is geared towards preparing people for self and national development. In a situation where youth unemployment has taken the driver’s seat in the nation, a lot of effort needs to be geared towards development and sustaining technical education in our quest for a sustainable national development.
According to Sofoluwe (2013), Sustainable development is a development which meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contain within it, two key concepts: (1. The concept of needs, in particular, the useful needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given (2. The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization in the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs (Brundland Report). The definition entails that the world is a system, a system that connects space and time. Wikipedia (2011) opines that sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aim to meet human needs while pressuring the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present but also for generations to come.
Revitalization Of Technical Education – Panacea For Sustainable Development
It is generally said that he who fail to plan, plan to fail. This old saying is also applicable to any country that fails to plan towards achieving a sustainable economy. Adikwanduaba (2013) said, truly speaking the design of Nigeria’s educational system is flawed. The neglect of technical education is an obstacle to national development, not everyone needs a university education. In Nigeria technical degrees are regarded as inferior to regular academic degrees, but in advanced nations, those with technical degrees are highly regarded individuals with years of field experience work in tandem with those with academic degrees. In fact, the worth of every worker depends on the person’s skills and knowledge, and not on the stack of academic degrees one has. Nigeria must learn to blend theory and practice in its education because theories alone cannot serve any useful purpose. Other issues which must be critically resolved and considered as a matter of urgency to bring about the much needed panacea to the technological industrial development of Nigeria includes: 1. Making a ten years development and capacity building plan for staff and man power training and recruitment to the various skills, trades, craft as well as engineering and allied courses in colleges, Polytechnics and University levels of the nation’s educational sectional sector. It must be noted that the long standing acute shortage of science, commercial, business and technical teachers bedeviling this sector since ages is still rearing its ugly head. Panacea to national development via the revitalization of technical education in Nigeria without critically addressing this issues therefore will be effort in futility 2. Correcting the flaws in the present curriculum used by most Nigerian universities for the training of technical teachers which is over powered and over loaded with pedagogy as against one’s specialty/professional course areas (science, technology and engineering courses) which ought to cover at least 70% of his program. This problem area needs to be urgently addressed by the stakeholders – NBTE, NUC and all Professional bodies/Registration 3. Professional bodies should also recognize field and professional achievements as measures for registration as a professional as being practiced in most developed countries of the world; Europe and America inclusive 4. Reviewing the present curricular in all the level of the nation’s educational system and ensuring that some of these trade courses that seems to be a missing link but play very vital roles in socio economics and techno-industrial development of nations are immediately mounted in the nation’s schools such as Foundry, ceramic, glass plastics and rubber technology to mention but a few 5. Making and installing right choice of personnel in every professional area must not be politically protected if the power to deliver is not there 6. Declaring colleges, polytechnics and universities with skilled quality man power, machines and equipment to excel in certain specialty trades or options in engineering, with proven result of output, the centre of excellence in those particular specialist areas, The place should be declared a training ground for those aspiring to be professional extra-ordinary in that field in the country. Proven and gifted ones should be given grants and scholarships and be granted the opportunity to be trained in such places. Staff mediocre must not have a chance in these areas, only those that have the capacity and potentials to deliver practically, theoretically and otherwise should be allowed to teach students in these areas 8. Retired industrial/factory workers in the areas of engineering and sciences with proven capacity to deliver both in the laboratories workshops and classrooms must be considered for contract appointment in Polytechnic and Universities. Their inclusion into our educational system must be done if we honestly want to achieve good result as the developed countries.
A case study; Peace Polytechnic has in its proposal a desire to construct a modern lecture theaters with modern facilities; this project is one of such projects which will require technocrats to get the desired architectural designs and construct it with great satisfaction to the Governing council of this institute which is in regards to the expertise of a well trained Architect to craft out such design, and if by chance, this same project is given to a personnel of mean repute with no technical know how, obviously, this project will meet a setback which might even lead to the collapse of the building and be counted amongst various collapse building recorded thus far in the country, hence, for the country to continue to experience positive reports in technical matters, there is a great need for the revamping of Technical Education in the country to meet the global standard.
Technically, ABARINGO NIG. LTD houses in it, professionals with technical knowhow whom are resourceful in approach and deals purposefully in regards to matters with connectivity to technology and are always there to give the best in standard of global practices in its dealings in estate development at such are available to be contracted in matters that needs technical approach.
Nigeria has all it takes to become a giant in global economy if only it can achieve a sustainable development through effective Technical Education . The age long issue of the disparity between the polytechnic and University education must be addressed as a matter of urgency. The problem of unemployment which has given birth to youth restiveness, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings to mention but a few, will be greatly abated if government is serious with development of Technical Education. Sustainable Technical Education is a major tool for pursuing the vision 20-20 agenda. On this premise, I commend the effort of Peace Institute of Management & Technology (Peace Poly) Mbarakom in contributing her quota in training young minds and future leaders in the area of technical education towards a sustainable national development.
Being a lecture delivered by Engr. (Dr.) Abasiono Okon, Chairman Governing Council, Peace Institute and Management Technology (Peace Polytechnic) during the 2nd Matriculation ceremony of the Institution at the school pavilion in Abak local government area, Akwa Ibom State