Edo revives technical colleges, hubs – Blueprint newspapers Limited

Obaseki

Technical and Vocation Education which provides skills for employment is said to be a means for sustainable development. In Edo State, is said to have been at stake after schools and skills acquisition hubs were left to rot until three years ago when the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, decided to revive technical colleges. Obaseki also established skill hubs in Benin to provide entrepreneurial and vocational training to unemployed youth. Four schools, namely Benin Technical College (BTC), Igarra Technical College, Afuze Technical College and Uromi Technical College, among others were reportedly falling into despair before the new initiative.

Findings in
BTC, now Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) revealed that apart
from contending with obsolete workshops and equipment, decaying facilities
posed a threat to both teachers and students. Other technical colleges in the
state were not different from the BTC in terms of obsolete machines, bad
structures and inadequate teaching staff among others.

The few
teachers left in the schools were apparently teaching practical work through
abstract thinking as instructional materials were in short supply in addition
to lack of subvention for consumables.

The state
government has built two blocks of 24 classrooms and workshops equipped with
internet facilities, air conditioners as well as adequate toilets. Governor
Obaseki during the commissioning said, “We have now finished building two new
blocks with workshops that will accommodate about 800 students. We now need to
move to the old blocks and begin to make them more modern. We are also
rebuilding the electrical, mechanical and carpentry workshops. We are
introducing plumbing and other trades.” He added that the state government was
in talks with foreign partners for exchange programmes which would make
provision for experts to train teachers on technical subjects.

The
principal, Onaiwu Frederick Osazuwa, in an interview with journalists said
before the refurbishment, there were no tools to train the students. He said
the government has completed two blocks of 22 classrooms and workshops and
installed internet facilities among other items that made learning conducive.

According to
him, governments have apparently abandoned the school leading to the decay of
buildings.

The Special
Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie,
said the state government had made huge investment in the college in its bid to
revive in the state.

“This
investment includes the procurement of new machines and other equipment. As we
speak these equipment are on ground and the first phase of the reorganisation
of the college is complete with students being trained.

“Also, in
this 21st century, transcends just nails, hammers and lathe
machines. We have ICT hub fully equipped with computers and other ICT tools
where soft technical skills are being acquired,” he said. According to him,
aside the college, the state government will replicate same in Edo North and
Edo South senatorial districts so as to decentralize the training of skilled
manpower across the state.

 Crusoe explained further that teachers were
being trained on technical education to be able to deliver up-to-the-minute knowledge
to students.

“The state
government has servicing agreement with the suppliers of the equipment which
includes training the teachers how to use the equipment.”

He said
students felt comfortable and respected as well as have a sense of rapport with
peers and teachers in a positive environment equipped with top-of-the-range
laboratories, libraries and workshops, adding that a new library with modern
books and full complement of ICT gadgets was also provided.

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