OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has passed into second reading a bill for the establishment of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Onna, Akwa Ibom State.
The establishment of the school is for purposes of providing qualitative education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, social sciences and arts.
Leading debate on the bill, the sponsor, Mrs. Ekpoattai Owoidighe (PDP, Akwa Ibom) said the overall intendment of the bill is to produce highly competent and prepared teachers who would be impacted with employable skills necessary to fit into the labour market on graduation and also become self-reliant.
She argued that one of the numerous challenges confronting the Nigeria educational system is the low teacher student ratio as well as dearth of vocational/technical instructors.
“Not enough teachers are being trained and the student population is increasing. Unfortunately, the number of schools needed to train our increasing pupil population is also low,” she said.
The lawmaker submitted that the growing problem of unemployment in the country has contributed largely to the worsening problem of poverty among the populace, noting that
“several factors have been adduced for this monstrous situation among which is the drastic drop in the standard of education, lack of skills etc. These vocational skills can be provided through technology as opposed to general education in our institutions of learning.”
She informed that of the 21 federal colleges of education in Nigeria, only eight are vocational/technical inclined adding that this is grossly inadequate for a population of over 180 million “if we mean to key into the global technical, vocational and entrepreneurial education that drives economic growth and industrialisation”.
Ekpoattai, said the college when established and fully functional will reduce this deficit by providing high quality teaching, improve learning in vocational and technical education and also serve as a feeder to the oil and gas companies operating in the state, the aluminium, smelting plant, the proposed maintenance hanger of the Ibom International Airport, the proposed railway terminus as well as numerous industries springing up in the state.