Mr. Sunday Mukoro, Managing Director of Coscharis Technologies, has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in technical education to make Nigeria competitive in the 21st Century.
According to him a legislated state of emergency in technical education would be an apt response to long-standing prejudices in the Nigerian education system
In a statement to Technology Times, Mr. Mukoro said that the call is based on the fact that the pace of technology development, at the global stage, which he reckons is so fast that it has rendered insignificant the yearly meagre budgets, in the past years of less than 1% of the GDP to the entire education sector.
He advised that technical education should be radically and generously funded by the new administration under its new change programme.
”There are persistent complaints that the products of the Nigerian educational system are unable to meet the expectations of corporate Nigeria. Industries and commercial institutions have vacancies that educated Nigerians are not equipped to occupy especially in the areas of technical/engineering and technologies thereby consistently depending on foreign firms for such services”, the tech company chief says.
Application of irrelevant curriculum and analogue teaching methods are some of the reasons for the under-achievement in the educational sector, he says adding that education outcomes fail to match the national expectations especially in manufacturing.
”There is an urgent national need to redefine and reposition technical and engineering education in order to transform this nation from consumption to production”, he adds.
The Coscharis tech boss wants Nigeria to harness her vast human and material resources to achieve rapid results from technical and engineering education.
One option is that the funding for this state of emergency can be obtained by directing the Educational Trust Fund (ETF) to invest 50% of its budget on technical education for the next five years.
The intervention he is advocating should be from focused on technical education across the full spectrum of primary schools, to technical colleges, polytechnics, engineering departments of the universities, schools of agriculture and research centres.
The goal is to wake up a sleeping giant, to wake up an economy hibernating like a blind snail by mobilising resources lavishly to technical education – buying and deploying the latest digital equipment, training and re-training teaching staff to ensure maximal use, “while paying special attention to the technical corps that would ensure that these digital equipment don’t turn to scrap in weeks as it has always been.”
According to Mukoro, the impact would be that in 10 years Nigeria would have a growing start-up ecosystem. Nigeria would be overflowing with skilled manpower enough to convince the world to manufacture their products in Nigeria.
In his view, the government needs to partner with Nigerian ICT companies affiliated to international organisations that would give Nigerians the certification they require to compete with the best in the world.