World Bank, through the Federal Ministry of Education is in partnership with the State Government to develop technical education in the State.
The Assistant Director (Science and Technology), in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Uche Mbuogu stated this in an interview with Abia Online, after inspecting one of the schools for the project (Afara Technical School) for baseline assessment to ascertain what areas of interventions of the World Bank is needed in the schools.
Mrs Mbuogu, who said the project, Innovative Development Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS), which is a World Bank project through the Federal Ministry of Education is aimed at training Technical Students and Technical teachers to enable them become employers of themselves after leaving school.
The IDEAS project, which is in collaboration with the Education for Employment (E4E) in the State, according to her, identified Abia State as the only State selected from the South East Geo- Political zone due to its nature of entrepreneurship.
According to Mrs Mbuogu, “In the Federation, six States were picked, in every Geo-political zone we picked one State, and in the South East, Abia State was picked because of its nature towards Aba. They have people that can do all these handiwork, we have tailors, we have shoemakers, etc, that is why we picked Abia State as part of the project.”
She further explained that the project, which began its planning stage last year, and which the Federal Government recently signed an agreement with the World Bank, would last for five years beginning from next year 2020 and run through 2025.
While listing the schools where intervention work will take place in Abia State to include Afara Technical School, Umuahia, Boys Technical College Aba and Government Technical School, Ani-Ohafia, she hinted that these schools would be renovated and provided with equipment necessary for the real Technical Education and practical training to commence in earnest.
She mentioned that her team were visiting these schools to have a first hand information on the present condition of the schools where the intervention work would carried out. In her words: “The reason we are doing this project in Technical Schools is because we want to capture them at the technical level – the specific number is what we want to get. When we get to a school, we get their nominal roll, check for people that are doing Technical subjects because even in some technical schools, all of them are not doing technical subjects, some are doing science subjects but we want to base this project on technical, people that are doing technical subjects and technical trades, that is what we want. We want to have a total number for now, that is why we are doing this baseline survey.”
Mrs. Mbuogu further clarified that the funding for the project will come to the states as grant from the Federal Government who acquired same from the World Bank as loan and urged the states involved to ensure the judicious use of the money in order to be qualified for future interventions.
Recall that the Director General of Education for Employment (E4E), Mr. Endi Ezengwa, recently embarked on a tour of the Philippines to engage the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of the Philippines for the training of technical teachers in the State so as to meet the acute shortage of the requisite personnel in Technical Colleges in the State.