The Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET) as enshrined in Nigeria National Policy on Education (2013) refers to “those aspects of educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related science and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding, and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of the social and economic. It involves the following:
(i) Technical Colleges, (ii) Vocational Enterprise Institutions (VEIs)
(ii) National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF).
The major goals of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) are to:
- Provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology, and business particularly at craft advance craft and technical levels;
- Provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial, and economic development; and
- Give training and impact the necessary skills to individuals for self-reliance economically.
The workability of TVET depends on how it is being hooked on other factors that will help learners. All stakeholders in vocational-technical education must be practical and not only theoretical in their approaches to making TVET meaningful.
Technology plays important role in merging territories into one global community and this feature tends to help most developing nations to be more active in globalization. As technological development magnets the world more closely together, vocational preparedness becomes increasingly significant in a country such as Nigeria. There is evidence that better technical qualifications and skills protect individuals from unemployment while macro-economic perspectives show that a higher skill level workforce goes hand in hand with better overall performances and also has a positive impact on social capital development.
The effectiveness and efficiency of TVET have been affected by the misconception that TVET is an education program meant for low level, low brilliance and less privileged, or in another language—”second class citizens”. This misconception among other factors such as brain drain, political instability, lack of political will, under-funding, further creates the negative impression that giving attention to TVET is a waste of time and resources by policymakers. Many forget that it is an integral part of National economic development.
Inability to give priority to TVET is a contributing factor to the rise in poverty and unemployment in the country. Despite, the presence of over 160 government-owned technical schools and several privately-owned technical schools, some companies seek their technical staff from neighboring countries, a scenario that may be described as unfortunate.
TVET has been described as “a master key” to unlocking the nation’s future because the purpose of it is to develop individuals in order to enable them to contribute to the development of society.
Implementation of this policy seems to be lacking. It is not unusual to find the reactive nature of policymakers where implementation strategies are usually considered after the formulation of policy.
Another critical issue is the gap that exists between policy decision-makers and career civil servants who are designated to carry out policy implementation. Apparently, there is a lack of synergy between research works and policy makers’ inputs. While the researchers are busy with their academic endeavor, the policymakers are also doing their thing. The words such as collaboration and information sharing are not fondly present in their relationship. In some cases, the research works may be considered as “too theoretical’, “too abstract and not concrete” and “not applicable or not necessary”. The above factors are considered as part of impediments to the positive outcomes of the National Policy on Technical, Vocational Education and Training in Nigeria.
However, integrating implementation strategy into policies while they are being created, increasing synergy between policymakers and civil servants, and making research work as the foundation upon which policies are processed are built will make the TVET objectives achievable.
In order to overcome unemployment and poverty challenges, the policymakers at all levels need to take a holistic approach to TVET in Nigeria. Parents, teachers, and students need reorientation on how TVET contributes not only to their individual families but to the economy of our nation.