HME Flags-off Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework
Nigeria's Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has flagged-off the Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF). The Minister who performed the ceremony on Thursday 15th February, 2018 at the National Universities Commission (NUC) Auditorium in Abuja commended the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for developing the framework and for promoting Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nigeria.
The minister stated that the event is aimed at improving technological knowhow of the Nigerian educational sector, promising that the ministry will re-kit and reposition NBTE and all technical and technological institutions to squarely face the challenges of the future.
According to the Minister, the Federal Ministry of Education under his purview has identified obvious skills gap in the Nigerian educational system which has caused Nigerian graduates not to be competitive in the global market place; “in order to progress, Nigeria must produce workforce that is skilled, efficient, highly mobile, adaptable and innovative” the Minister admonished.
He further stated that to close the skills gap, his ministry has elected to promote demand driven TVET instruction, provide increased access to TVET institutions, and ensure participation by all stakeholders in the formal and informal sectors.
While stressing that the Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework is intended to meet some key issues of positive change of the present administration, the minister disclosed that his ministry intends to strategically place technical and vocational education and training in the proper perspective to ensure that products of TVET institutions are able and available to perform their roles and meet the aspirations of the Nigerian economy.
Mal. Adamu noted that his ministry aims to exploit the TVET potentials in order to reduce unemployment, reduce poverty, reduce the incidence of vices in the society, improve the quality of life, and promote peace and democracy in the country.
The Minister who noted that the future of the nation lies in developing a highly skilled and mobile workforce, vowed to restructure the technical training and assessment processes to meet the emerging aspirations of a highly competitive changing global economy.
He charged the NBTE to begin to identify, classify, brand and provide a model for ensuring quality assurance and standardization of the many unbranded trades that abound in the Nigerian economy. “NBTE must develop the criteria for qualifications that are all embracing to make it possible for a new class of graduates to contribute their quota to national development” the minister reiterated.
The minister promised to address the challenges facing the Nigerian TVET sector, incorporate the qualifications from NSQF into the scheme of service of the federation as well as pass the necessary legal framework through the Federal Executive Council to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
Earlier in his address, the NBTE Executive Secretary, Dr. M.A. Kazaure stated that the need to recognize, coordinate, standardize and regulate training provided at the non-formal settings which has positive contribution to the economy and close the skills gap created by a mismatch of curricula and need of industry commenced the drive for institutionalization of the Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework by the NBTE.
He said the objectives for which the NSQF was introduced in Nigeria aim at providing policy guidelines on organizing skills training to improve product quality, productivity and competitiveness in both formal and informal sectors, provide a coherent structure for vocational qualifications as well as provide a system for the recognition of competences which enhance stakeholders input to major decisions among others.
While speaking on the journey so far on the institutionalization of the NSQF in Nigeria, Dr. Kazaure announced that so far a six level Nigerian Skills Qualification (NSQ) has been developed and approved by the Federal Executive Council as well as included in the national scheme of service; seven operational staff have been trained in the United Kingdom to pioneer the institutionalization; national Occupational Standards which will be used for the delivery of NSQs have been developed and classified, covering 9 sectors of the Nigerian economy; quality assurance assessors and managers have been trained for awarding bodies; NSQ Code of Practice and Operational Manual have been developed and approved by the NBTE Governing Board; while Sector Skills Councils, Awarding Bodies and Training Centres have been approved to commence operation.
The Executive Secretary who noted that NSQs would motivate beneficiaries for better performance and service to the nation, enhance employability and reduce poverty and other indices of social vices among other benefits said institutionalization of the framework is stakeholder dependent, explaining that NBTE has at all stages been involving relevant stakeholders.
He listed the challenges faced by the Board in institutionalizing the NSQF to include lack of skills policy and coordination, which he called for the establishment of a Council that will be responsible for coordination and development of skills and employment policy in Nigeria; need for regular funding for trainers and trainees until when the project is in a position of self-sustained funding, as well as placement of holders of the NSQs in the national Scheme of Service in accordance with the Federal Executive Council's approval.
While reiterating the need for support of both private and public sector enterprises and the various levels of government, the Executive Secretary expressed appreciation for the technical and financial support so far received from partners including; NAPTIN, NABTEB, NIOB, CORBON, COREN, NACCIMA, ITF, NAC, LASTVEB, NIHOTOUR, STEP-B Project, Ford Foundation, MAFITA, DFID, GIZ, UNESCO, ILO among others.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman House Committee on tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Suleiman Aminu commended the Honourable Minister of Education for his sagacity, decrying that the nation has been living in false dreams and had promoted paper qualification to the detriment of skills development. he however commended the NBTE Executive Secretary for the stride, warning that project shouldn't end as an academic exercise. The Chairman pledged the National Assembly support in providing legislation and appropriation for the success of the project.
Also, the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu while congratulating the Federal Ministry of Education and NBTE for the stride, said the National Water Resources Institute will key into the programme. Representative of the Honourable Minister of Information said the programme will add value to the economy and called for the strict implementation of the project.
The President of NACCIMA Abuja chapter and a former minister of Nigeria, Prince Adetukumbo
Kayode SAN noted that the programme is national public and private issue which calls for the support of all and sundry. He said Nigeria is facing challenges of skills development which require the support of all the sectors. He expressed the commitment of the Abuja chapter of NACCIMA to the project.
Highlights of the event were presentation of Operational Licenses to Awarding Bodies and Sector Skills Councils by the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal Adamu Adamu and the preview of a short documentary on the development of NSQF in Nigeria.