NSQF: Kaduna Polytechnic Issues Certificates to 33 Quality Assurance Assessors
The Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Prof. Idris Bugaje has encouraged Degree and Diploma holders across the country to enroll for the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) to enhance their employability as according to him, certified skills are the new currency in employment globally.
The Rector who made the observation in an address during the presentation of certificates to 33 Quality Assurance Assessors of the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) in Kaduna Polytechnic recently said, the Federal Government approved the formalization of this track of training in 2017 to address the challenge of unemployment among the youths and also close skills gaps nationally and globally.
Professor Bugaje explained that apprenticeship which NSQF supports is as old as modern civilization but was largely abandoned in 20th century in preference to degrees and diplomas and was only found in the informal sector. He further revealed that Kaduna Polytechnic being the oldest Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institution in Nigeria has decided to key into the renewed Federal Government drive on formalizing the Informal Apprenticeship Training by entering into partnership with its neighbour, the Kaduna Old Panteka Market Association which handles over 38,000 apprentices in 38 different trades since more than 50 years ago. He said the Polytechnic established the Centre for Technology Development (CTD) in 2017 to partner with Panteka not only in NSQF training but also in the design and fabrication of machineries.
The Rector noted that the vision for the NSQF training with Panteka is to facilitate certification of skills to allow graduates move out to greener pastures in Nigeria and overseas and allow new trainees to be admitted into Panteka. The training he said is intended to operate on an 80:20% ratio between on-the-job training and classroom instructions under the guidance of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as regulators.
According to the Rector,, Kaduna Polytechnic being the first Institution to start this track of training will need close partnership with NBTE to overcome teething problems and conform with requirements of the awarding bodies such as National Institute of Builders (NIOB) and National Business Technical and Examination Board ( NABTEB).
Prof. Bugaje hinted that the qualifications will be limited to NSQ Levels 1-3 and learners must be subjected to Desk Assessment to determine their levels. Levels 3 he said is the equivalent to National Diploma in conventional tracks.
He further explained that the NSQF is a system for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies acquired by individuals irrespective of location or type of training, adding that the system gives a clear statement of what the learner must know or be able to do and how the learning took place is immaterial under the system.
The Rector further disclosed that the Polytechnic's standing committee on apprenticeship set up in 2018 identified Quality Assurance Assessors, Training Centres, Awarding Bodies, Sector Skills Councils and Regulatory Authority (NBTE) as stakeholders for NSQF.
He added that Kaduna Polytechnic, being a training centre was able to sponsor, through its IGR, the training of 40 Quality Assurance Assessors, 20 from Kaduna Polytechnic;s Lecturers/Technologists and another 20 from Master Artisans in Panteka, out of which 33 were successful and received their certificates from NBTE.
Prof. Bugaji said, training of assessors is a fundamental requirement for the NSQF to take off and Kaduna Polytechnic being the first public institution in the country to start this track of training at the moment houses the largest number of Quality Assurance Assessors in addition to the three verifiers in the system. He noted that the step was taken to firmly position the Polytechnic as a front runner in revitalizing skills and apprenticeship training in Nigeria in order to create an inclusive and productive workforce that would contribute to the socio economic development of the nation.
The NSQF Skills Training he explained will start with only 10 National Occupational Standards (NOS) and hope to expand to all the 38 trades in Panteka and beyond.
The Rector called for more investment in skills development in Nigeria and also collaboration with other countries like Morocco that is more advanced in skills training to enhance skills development in the country. Doing so, he maintained “lies the solution to the chronic unemployment that feeds poverty, insurgency and banditry which are the bane of the nation at the moment”.
He also called on other TVET Institutions across the country to also consider commencing this NSQF skills training to expose youths across the country to skills that will guarantee them a future of economic prosperity.