By Gilbert Ekezie

The 3rd edition matriculation ceremony for students admitted into full-time and part-time programmes for National Diploma (ND) for the 2023/2024 academic session in ED JOHN Institute of Management and Technology was held on Friday, April 5, at the school premises located at Isiwu, along Ikorodu-Sagamu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos State.

Among those in active participation at the event include Chairperson BOT, Mrs Osar Emokpae Enoma, Chairman, Governing Council, Dr Iyi Uwadaie, Vice Chairman, Governing Council, Rev Theophilus Ihejirika, Rector, Dr Amuzie Akpaka, Dr Kayode Okunade of Caleb University, the Registrar, Ms Shola Fatoye and others.

About 50 students in the five departments, namely: Computer Science, Mass Communication, Business Administration, Accountancy and Marketing, took part in the graduation which was witnessed by the school authority, parents, guardians, friends and well-wishers.

In a paper titled; ‘Strengthening Technical Vocational Education and Training in Polytechnic System: Empowering Tomorrow’s Workforce,’ Guest Lecturer, Associate Professor Kolawole Godonu, described Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), as training in theoretical and practical basic scientific skills and knowledge-related in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEMS) fields.

He explained that TVET is designed to offer people the opportunity to improve their general proficiency, especially in relation to their present or future occupation.

Godonu who lectures at LASUSTECH noted that vocational and technical education is used as a comprehensive term in the educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life.

He said prosperity of any nation is linked to the development of its human capital and development in education, particularly, technical, vocational and tertiary.

“Self-drive is Key to creating a bright future. Find your niche, you need to be creative, seek to be entrepreneurial and think of doing things in new ways.”

According to him, many of the so-called ‘expatriate engineers’ receiving huge sums of money in dollars for road construction in Nigeria are graduates of vocational colleges, but in Nigeria, the issue of technical and vocational education is not taken seriously.

“The nation’s poverty level has increased to about 70% and many Nigerians now live on less than one dollar a day due to the skills gap. TVET graduates go on to advance in their careers and take leadership roles within their industries.”

He blamed limited resources and funding for TVET programmes, lack of industry partnership for practical training, brain drain, negative societal perception towards vocational education and outdated curriculum that doesn’t align with industry need as some of the current challenges in TVET.

Visitor and Founder of the institution, Dr Osaren Emokpae extolled the virtues of Technical and Vocational education, saying that a situation where students graduate without getting jobs is worrisome.

He explained that with technical and vocational training, graduates will not sit and wait when someone will be employed, rather, they will be self-reliant with the skills they acquired from school.

According to him, in the past, jobs were already available for graduates because they were employable, but these days, many graduates are not employable because they have little or nothing to offer.

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“I will recall that in our days, while we were in school, jobs were waiting for us, and immediately we graduated, we started work. But unfortunately, it is not like that today, due to decadence, many of our graduates are not employable due to a lack of skills. That is why you see many of them roaming the streets.

“So, there is a need to acquire skills, so that we can be our own bosses.

Emokpae informed that the main goal of EDJOHN Institute is to train people who will be employers of labour tomorrow through skills acquisition and learning.

“We positioned our students in such a way that if they graduate, we give them jobs unless they want to take a career. Also, our students will not look for where to do Industrial Training, but in our organizations, with an allowance of N50,000 monthly. That is why we brought in employers of labour as part of our management team and partners.”

The Founder called on the Federal Government to take the issue of technical and vocational education more seriously by supporting it so that the future of the younger generation will be brighter.

“The Federal Government should pay more attention to technical and vocational education by voting more money into it. Loans should also be given to students who have an interest in acquiring technical and vocational training. The recent student loan bill, which was signed recently, should reach everyone who deserves it, and there should be no discrimination in assessing it.”

Reacting, one of the ND I matriculating students, Miss Gloria Moboluwape Olasukanmi expressed happiness for being among those being honoured on the day.

She said that being a student of the Institute is a step towards the right direction, as it will give her the much-desired opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge that would make her self-reliant.

“I am happy today for being where I am supposed to be. I believe that everyone is destined to become something in life. I have tried to get admission in so many places, but all to no avail, not knowing that God has a better plan for me. With what I am seeing here, concerning the good teaching and learning environment, qualified and experienced lecturers and disciplinary measures put in place, l think, there is no reason not to succeed.”

Olasukanmi who promised to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the institution, thanked the management of the institution for affording her the opportunity to be part of those who would acquire skills and graduate to be among the leaders of tomorrow.

Another matriculating student in the Department of Mass Communication, Miss Olaide Afolayan said securing admission at the Institution was one of the good things that had happened in her life, as she is fulfilled and ready to settle down for a serious business.

She promised to ensure that she comes out with the best and never disappoints her family who are strongly behind her.

“I will try my best to come out as the best at the end. I will also make my family proud and represent this institution as a good ambassador.

“Meanwhile, I will abide by the rules and regulations of the institution as we have already promised.”


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