Editor’s note: Ayodeji Ajiboye writes to raise awareness on the need for vocational training and skills acquisition in Nigeria and proffer workable solutions.
Nigeria and other developing countries share almost the same features in terms of inadequate infrastructural development, abysmal GDP, unemployment and genetically poor policies implementation. All these describe and sum up the major challenges bedevilling developing nations.
Vocational education has been the mainstay of any great nations.
Okoyo (2010) defines vocational education as a skilled based programme designed for skill acquisition at a lower level of education.
It is disheartening to know that today we live in a society that places value on white collar jobs and esteem ‘professionalism’. We consider blue collar jobs as low status. In other words, our society is driven by knowledge with much emphasis on cognitive development at the expense of skills.
Most of the top-notch economy in the world today are driven by entrepreneurs who seize the opportunity of harnessing their learnt skills to develop their countries.
The need to promote vocational training and encourage skills acquisition can not over emphasized as it promotes self-reliance and increases independence. Most of the countries who are economically giant have identified the importance of empowerment and trainings that can foaster growth and development.
Individuals in such countries are encouraged to master a vocation at the micro-economic level. For instance, Germany is taking the lead in the manufacturing of automobile and machinery with huge market exports annually. The roles of vocational training is significant in the growing of country GDP.
On the contrary, developments and promotion of vocational skills have been silenced over years in developing countries because of poor funding funding and inadequate sensitisation. If our economy would experience massive growth, then vocational education and skills acquisition should be the major driver of the economy.
The forbearer if the American Declaration of independence recognized the fact that there is equal opportunity for all when they wrote “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” which translates that we all have equal opportunity in spite of our environmental factors and influence.
Remarkably, the secret of every giant economies is hidden in the roles played by vocational trainings and skills acquisition.
•Ayodeji Ajiboye is the founder of Affect Project initiative, an NGO that caters in mentoring young Nigerians