The Federal Government said it was introducing a ‘School-to-Work’  scheme aimed at equipping youths to become productive and self-employed.

This is in a bid to equip young school learners with life-long skills and  entrepreneurship for self-reliance.

The Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr .Hamid Bobboyi, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with Commissioners for Education, Executive Chairmen of State and FCT Universal Basic Education Boards and UBEC.

Bobboyi disclosed that the target group for the scheme were learners in the junior secondary schools.

According to him, it would provide them the opportunity to detect early in life where their talents and potential lie, between academic pursuit and vocational skills development.

“It is expected that ultimately, generations of school leavers, who are productive, self-employed, and contributing to the economic well-being of the country will emerge.

“The target group for the scheme are learners in the junior secondary schools.

“It will save the country the wastage being experienced after the junior secondary school education, whereby those who are not academically inclined have no skills to develop for sustenance,” he said.

Explaining how the scheme would be run, Bobboyi said that it was structured to provide at least six months training, broken into two months per year of study in the junior secondary school.

“Within this period, the basics of a variety of trades will be taught, on which the learners can build after completing the junior secondary education.

“It is also designed to enable those students who may not be transiting to the senior secondary schools immediately to continue to specialise in their chosen trades until they are able to establish on their own,” he said.

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Bobboyi further stated that the scheme would be piloted in some centres in the states and the FCT before scaling it up across the country.

He added that the vocational centres were to be established and equipped to support training in a variety of trades in existing junior secondary schools.

He called for the support of the commissioners and other stakeholders to ensure the success of the implementation of the scheme.

“The role of the Federal Government is to support the efforts of these tiers of government.

“It is in view of this that we have invited the Commissioners of Education from across the country with the Executive Chairmen to deliberate on the scheme.

“So that at the end of the proceedings, we will resolve to give our maximum cooperation for the achievement of the goal of the scheme, and for the states to ultimately take ownership,” he said.

Also speaking, the Director, Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Folake Davies, said that the scheme which is in line with the road map policy of the ministry, was designed to provide  youths with the requisite experience necessary to excel whenever they find themselves in the working environment.

Davies, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the ministry, Rose Onoja, said that only collaborative effort from the federal, state, and local government levels and active involvement from the private sector would make the implementation of the programme successful.

“The school-to-work scheme programme is designed to create a path to prepare our youths from the latent potential they possess to actually make them economically empowered for various opportunities available to various degrees in work related environments.

“It further supports the students classroom knowledge by gaining insights into various vocations, technical, industrial and business environments,” he said.