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Technical Education: A Panacea for Sustainable Development

Technical Education: A Panacea for Sustainable Development

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

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