The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on Tuesday in Kano decried the dearth of quality assurance assessors for technical education in Nigeria.
It says Nigeria with an estimated population of more than 200 million people boasts of only 1,500 quality assurance assessors for technical education, whereas less populated countries have higher numbers.
“Togo, the Republic of Benin and Ethiopia with populations of between 50 million and 80 million have more than 60,000 assessors.
“Benin Republic has between 25,000 assessors and 30,000 assessors, so also is Cote d’Ivoire, while Nigeria with a population of more than 200 million has 1,500 assessors.’’
These declarations were made by Mr Ibrahim Bello, Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje.
Bello represented Bugaje at a two-week training organised for Quality Assurance Assessors for Innovation, Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) project in northwest geopolitical zone.
He said IDEAS was geared toward enhancing the quality and relevance of skills acquisition in the country, adding that it currently operates in six states of the federation.
He explained that the project was an intervention to develop technical colleges and skills acquisition which, he said, were vital to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
He expressed regret that technical colleges were not functioning as expected over the years.
He added that the World Bank provided 200 million dollars credit to Nigeria to reposition technical colleges in some selected states to close skills gap in the country.
Earlier, the Project Manager of IDEAS, Malam Abbati Muhammad, said the 200 million dollars World Bank’s support being applied by the Federal Ministry of Education was functional in one state in each of the six geopolitical zones.
He said the project has four components aimed at enhancing the capacity of Nigerian skills development system to produce relevant skills for the formal and informal sectors.
The project manager said the training would enhance participants’ capacity to effectively discharge assigned duties across the four project components of the scheme.
According to him, some of the challenges in the sector can be surmounted through the National Skills Qualification Framework developed to achieve occupational standardisation.
In his remarks, Kano State’s Commissioner for Education, Malam Ya’u Yanshana, said the project came at a critical time when technical and vocational education had been neglected in spite of several government interventions.
Yanshana was represented by the Executive Secretary, Kano State Science and Technical Schools Board, Malam Ahmad Tijjani.
He said that implementation of the project signified the seriousness and commitment of those managing the IDEAS project.
He commended the NBTE for its concerted efforts at ensuring that much was achieved within the lifespan of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the 80 participants in the programme were drawn from both the public and private sectors.