BENIN CITY – The Edo State Government has restated its commitment towards repositioning technical and vocational education in the state, noting that the government has partnered with the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) and other collaborators to introduce digital learning into technical and vocational schools across the state.
The Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, disclosed this while delivering her welcome address at the two-day Edo State Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Conference held in Benin City, with the theme, “How Can State and Non-State Actors Promote Demand-Driven Quality TVET?”
The Commissioner said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led state government is taking critical steps to reform the TVET sub-sector in Edo State, reassuring that the construction of the 20 new TVET schools across the state’s 18 local councils will begin this year.
According to her, “We have introduced digital learning into our TVET schools in partnership with UNICEF and Nigerian Learning Passport. We are using two schools as a pilot phase, namely Benin Technical College and Usugbenu Technical College, Irrua. The goal is to ensure that all our TVET students are digitally literate.
“As part of the ongoing reforms of our TVET sub-sector by our board, we have identified about 17 industries from oil and gas to the creative industries, among others that we want to train our young people for. Going forward, it’s going to be about practicals and skills.
“Skills come in different forms. The government plans to establish 20 new TVET schools across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State and the construction will begin this year.”
She further noted, “Our board of TVET is serious about working with our master craftsmen and women and the private sector to start formalizing the non-formal apprenticeship sector. If we are able to formalize our informal sector, it’s going to be beneficial to our youths.”
Oviawe added, “Last year, 18 TVET teachers and staff of the TVET board went to Germany on training as the training will continue for all others in the education sector to enable them to give the best to the students in the state.
“On Thursday this week, under the World Bank and Federal Ministry of Education IDEAS program, we are going to be launching a N300m innovation grant for the South-South region. This innovation grant is targeted at small companies in the digital sector to train our young people.”
In his goodwill message, Senior Education Specialist at World Bank, Dr. Tunde Adekola, congratulated Edo State Government, GIZ-SKYE, and other partners for the conference, assuring of the World Bank’s support to promote and develop technical and vocational education in the state.
He said, “World Bank is ready to work with the Edo State Government, relevant partners, and stakeholders to improve TVET in Edo State and Nigeria. We must collaborate with the formal and informal sectors to ensure success in our TVET system. If state actors work with development partners, it will improve TVET.”