The Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has expressed concerns over the lack of technical skills and knowledge in Nigeria, especially among graduates of polytechnics.
The minister said that in the last decade, products of polytechnic education in the country had not been able to show that the schools imparted into them modern technical skills, saying cases had shown that they were rather offered obsolete skills
Aregbesola expressed his displeasure with the ugly situation yesterday in Lagos while delivering a lecture at the 27th Convocation of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu Campus, with the theme: “Infrastructural Deficit and Technological Development in Nigeria: The Role of Technical Education”.
The minister whose paper was titled, “Technical Education As A Sure Path To Fulfiling Nigeria’s Historic Role In Africa”, however, blamed the schools for the poor outing of their products during job interviews.
“But we find out most of the time that their knowledge and skills are obsolete and even for the promising ones among them, they have to be trained and retrained to be able to fit into a workplace. This is where the schools fail their graduates and is the basis of rejection,” he said.
He advised that the polytechnics should dwell more on preparing their students for a competitive job market with indisputable and unignorable job skills, stressing that employers would find such well-baked graduates irresistible.
Aregbesola added that while many graduates nowadays complain of scarcity of jobs in the country, too many yawning technical needs abound where they can play in and put their technical knowledge and skills to work.
He said the technical education being provided by polytechnics should address primarily the challenge of improved agricultural production so that they can farm competitively and derive maximum yield on a given investment.
He added: “I will suggest even further, as the polytechnics restructure and start preparing their students for taking greater responsibilities in building our nation, that they, working with government and corporate organisations, set up a system of entrepreneurship and tooling for them.
“Let me end on an optimistic note. The horizon is bright. The challenges of modernity will force us to either shape up or ship out. Since self-preservation is the first law of nature, chances are good that we will take the former and fulfil our historical role of being the light and hope of the continent and the black race”.