Graduation Of Over 6,000 From Our Technical Colleges, Testimony To Our Commitment To Vocational Education - Fashola
Jul 31, 2012 - Over 6,000 students on Tuesday graduated from the five Government Technical Colleges in Lagos State with the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) restating that the ceremony is a culmination of the resolve of the State Government to develop and encourage technical and vocational education.
The Governor spoke at the Government Technical College, Agidingbi location where the students were awarded the Federal Training Craft Certificate (FTC), National Technical Certificates/ National Business Certificates(NTC/NBC) under the auspices of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board.
Said he: "We recognize the knowledge gap in the area of technical and vocational education brought about by our overdependence on University degrees over the years but those degrees have not matched the demand from our society and therefore whilst there are jobs, there is unemployment".
"It is because the town where the jobs are needed is not speaking to the gown in the schools where the skills are being trained. Today, the gown is now meeting the town and the gown is supplying what the town needs and therefore we expect to see economic prosperity".
Governor Fashola reiterated that the graduation of over 6,000 students in a state that is more or less a construction site of its own means that this is the best time to be a certified technician and a graduate of a government technical school.
"The jobs are there waiting. Improvement in our economy will bring about even more prosperity which will in turn mean more demand for our skills. I implore each one of you to demonstrate resourcefulness and creativity that your training has prepared you for".
"We can give you all of the skills but it is now in your hands to be all that you want to be either to learn more or to remain stagnant. You must continuously sharpen your skills, prepare yourself to be the best that you can be. If you are the best welder, you are only the best welder as long as you continue to improve yourself", the Governor explained.
He said the Nigerian economy today requires young vibrant entrepreneurs who are willing to create and generate the wealth and employment opportunities, adding that he sees those entrepreneurs in the over 6,000 people that have graduated at the ceremony.
The State Governor enjoined the graduating students to always portray their alma mater in the best possible ways as worthy ambassadors, saying they should never wear their work outfits to parties or around town.
He enjoined that the work clothes including the goggles, hats, gloves and booths should only be worn in the workshop, adding that anytime they have appointments to keep in town, they should dress respectably.
"You must be diligent, discipline and give 100 percent and more to your clients always. Integrity must be your watchword and ensure that you do nothing to betray that trust because trust is very instrumental to being successful in your profession".
"You will make money through your skills and knowledge but not by cheating and deceiving your clients. Remember that once you are distrusted by one client, he would spread the message round that people should not patronize you and you will lose business", The Governor admonished.oThe Governor advised the graduates to embrace the opportunity to be self employed by picking themselves into groups if twos and threes such that those who learn masonry, block work, electricians can come together and form small companies of partnership where each partner owns a lot.
He advised them to formalize such partnerships and register it with the State Ministry of Commerce and Industry so that they can be put in the Yellow pages being published by the State Government as well as on its website.
He gave a commitment that the State Government will use technical education to boost economic productivity by providing high quality and competent skills from the five technical colleges to repair, service, maintain the state technical infrastructure.
The Governor commended the guest lecturer, Engineer Francis Onipede for using himself as a live example of the heights that technical education can take one to in life, adding that through him, everyone now understands the quality of technical and vocational education.
He added that people use to see technical education as the inferior education but that now everyone is wiser that it is not inferior education but is parallel if not better than the conventional education that everyone knows.
He said with the certification which they have received now under the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), they have the equivalent of the General Certificate of Education GCE in hand which means they can also go to the University if they choose to.
The Governor who said he would support and encourage as many of the graduates who choose to proceed to the University, adding that it will develop them and increase their horizon.
The State Governor also commended the efforts of Mr Temi Olusanya who was head hunted from abroad to help revive the Government Technical Colleges which were almost broken institutions and people like former Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, the members and board of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) for their efforts.
Governor Fashola who also congratulated the students said the journey of today which started four and half years ago is now yielding results because with the successful graduation of the students, a big turnaround is on course.
"When you elected me as your Governor in 2007, one of the sing songs that characterized unemployment and unemployability of our young people was that they had no skills and that our neighbours from West Africa had taken over the jobs of plumbing, masonry, engineering and welding. In the graduation of over 6000 students trained in Lagos State today, a big turnaround is on course. The future is here today".
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, (LASTVEB) Engineer Olawunmi Gasper urged the graduating students to remain loyal and good ambassadors of their noble colleges.
He also informed that Lagos State is the first State to adopt and display the use of hybrid curriculum for its technical college students, stating that this is due to the demand of the State's industry partners to produce high quality technical skills and youths to support the activities.
He announced that by September 2012, the hybrid curriculum in all trained areas will deployed consisting of the NBTE National Curriculum and the industry developed curriculum in the 60: 40 ration thus meeting the needs of the industry.
Engineer Gasper said the pilot project is the SAMSUNG Engineering Academy located in the Government Technical College Agidingbi where students of electronics instrumentation, refrigeration and air-conditioning electronics are taught by industry trainers using SAMSUNG industry developed curriculum on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
He added that it is hoped that in five years, the SAMSUNG academy would have offered training to at least 2000 youths in electronics as advanced technicians.
In a lecture, Engineer Francis Onipede urged the new graduates not to play second fiddle or see themselves as second rate professionals adding that all over the world technicians are proving their worth.
He said he started out with the City and Guild qualifications and has gone on to the University and proved his mettle both locally and internationally, adding that they must work with their integrity intact always.
He said as a technician part of the qualities needed to succeed in the profession is to always update their knowledge of the profession and network with other technical and professionals group members.
A special award was presented to former Deputy Governor of the State, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan for her contribution to the development of technical education while some students who distinguished themselves also received prizes.
The event attracted members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Special Adviser on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, member of the State House of Assembly, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, members of the Body of Permanent Secretaries and students who were accompanied by family members and relatives.