By Oyewale Oyelola
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo during the commissioning of International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship College, Ajase-Ipo in November 2017 urged other state governments across the country to emulate Kwara State Government by building standard vocational and technical centres like IVTEC.
Prof Osinbajo noted that IVTEC would help train thousands of master artisans thereby reducing unemployment and support the industrialisation agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government.
Similarly, the innovator and actualizer of IVTEC concept, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed that the primary basis for establishing the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College.
His words at the commissioning of IVTEC: “Indeed, when I laid the foundation stone of the College on September 11, 2012, the vision was to establish a College to equip youths with skills for self-reliance, tackle unemployment, and ease access to vocational training of international standard for students from a variety of skills and educational backgrounds.
“Today marks a milestone in the history of Kwara State as we take a huge leap towards our dream of providing multi-layered platforms for vocational and technical training to citizens and emerging as a sub-regional hub for skills. IVTEC offers a structured approach to providing youths with market-relevant skills and a reliable pathway to economic empowerment that prevents a descent into negative and destructive behavior often associated with unemployment.
“Globally, Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training has been identified as critical to growth, especially industrialization. As you are aware, Nigeria’s previous experimentation with technical education has faulted in the face of neglect and an expanding gap between the schools’ curricula and the needs of the economy.”
The above statement by Governor shows IVTEC model is far higher than conventional technical schools in Nigeria. Therefore, equating IVTEC with Technical College would be wrong because the college model is inline with global standards in vocational, technical and entrepreneurship education as students would write City and Guilds of London qualifying examination to earn their certificate. This certificate can be tendered anywhere in the world because City and Guilds of London is a globally recognised vocational and technical education centre.
Furthermore, the college which would academic activities in first quarter of 2018 has standard structure and equipped with modern vocational/technical training facilities with hostel accommodation for students.
IVTEC has capacity to accommodate 120 students for now and the state government planned to inject N13billion in the next five years to increase its capacity.
The college is open to students with three basic skills: fresh school leavers, graduates and professional seeking to acquire standard vocational and technical training.
It’s noteworthy that IVTEC is solely owned by Kwara State Government but would be run like Non-government to make it efficient and effective. The college’s model was based on sponsorship of students by companies, government and private individuals.
Recall that the state governor during December Edition of Governor Explains stated that the tuition fee of IVTEC is cheap compare quality training and other services students would enjoy at the centre.
According to him, the tuition fee of the college consist of the feeding , free medical and free equipment, internet facilities, tools, and accreditation for City and Guilds of London examination.
Also, the pioneer students of the college will comprise 80 people drawn from 16 local government areas of the state. While, World Bank has expressed willingness to train 17,000 vulnerable youths at the college.
Aside that the quality training students would be exposed to at IVTEC, the state government is planning to mentor graduating students at five incubation centres across the state in order to have firsthand business experience.
The graduating students of the college will also be given opportunity to access loan from Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises credit facilities by Kwara State Government to start up their own business after graduation. This will empower them to become employers of labours without stress.
As the college commences academic activities soon, all the stakeholders in the state should work harmonious with government to turn the lofty idea into reality for the benefit of all and sundries in the state of harmony.