Knowledge and practise of technical craft is on the decline in Nigeria even in the face of rising youth unemployment. In recent times institutions that teach vocational and technical knowledge are gradually becoming irrelevant. First is that students are not so keen to learning crafts in these schools anymore. There is also the problem of many half-baked/road-side artisans that has saturated the market. Thus creating problems for the system as individuals and firms that need technical services now have difficulties trusting artisans in Nigeria.
To solve the problem, the ministry of education in Anambra state in 2014 initiated reforms for the technical education arm of the state. This reforms are targeted at improving teaching and learning of vocational skills in the state, as well as making those in the sector profitably productive. The state is therefore partnering with Kiara college to meet this need. Hence the Training of Technical and Vocational Teachers (TVET) is one of the approaches in delivering this goal. The objectives of the five-day training programme include;
1. Building capacity of the teachers especially new ones
2. Testing equipment that have been supplied to TVET institutions of the states
3. Activation of the production units
There are twelve areas of trade that have been selected for this phase of the programme. They include;
1. Plumbing and Pipe fitting
2. Brick laying and Block laying and concreting,
3. Vehicle Body Building,
4. Electrical machines repairs-rewinding/Electronic services
5. Solar Energy Production/Installation Trades,
6. Furniture Design and Construction,
8. Mechanical Engineering Craft,
9. Painting-Decorating/Paint Production,
10. Computer Craft/Hard-ware
11. Phone Repairs and maintenance,
12. Catering Craft/Event Management
The team brought together expert trainers in these selected fields to train the vocational/technical education teachers. The experts include retired teachers as well as other partners with track record of excellence in the selected fields, who are able to deliver the desired services. Also involved in the programme is the HODs of the various trade fields in the institutions as well as the teachers in these institutions. To ensure that the trainees have adequate knowledge of the equipment in their institutions, the suppliers of the equipment are part of the five-day exercise.
The detailed outputs and/or outcomes of the various trades are as follows;
1. Plumbing and Pipe fitting: The outcome of the training is that the trainees are now able to install new sanitary wares in a new house or maintain and service existing ones. Another outcome is that the trainees are also able to effectively train others (especially their students) as they demonstrated at the final of the training.
2. Brick Laying, Block Laying and Concreting: The immediate outcome is that the trainees are now able to mould as well as supervise the moulding of blocks, setting-out of a house following a building drawing, erect a wall, render and plaster the erected wall.
3. Vehicle Body Building: The trainee teachers are now able to render the services of a panel beater professionally and at the same time are able to teach their students how to do same.
4. Electrical Machines Repairs-Rewinding/Electronic Services: At the end of the training, the trainees where able to repair four motor head of water pumping machines. They have also learnt important health safety practise in the electrical trade. The trainees are therefore ready to use their skill to facilitate the active production units in their various schools.
5. Solar Energy Production/Installation Trades: The trainee teachers in this trade were able to produce solar panel that has the capacity to power a bulb and standing fan.
6. Furniture Design and Construction: The trainee teachers under the guidance of their trainer were able to produce two market ready dining chairs and two side stools.
7. Fabrication-Welding: The primary output of this group was the fabrication of glass wine bar. The product was market ready as at the last day of the training.
8. Mechanical Engineering Craft: The team is able to produce M8 and M16 bolts, as well as kitchen knives.
9. Painting-Decorating/Paint Production: At the end of the training programme, the team produced four kinds of paints, emulsion, text coat, silk and oil paint. These paints were produced in varied colours including white, purple, yellow, blue, pink, and grey.
10. Computer Craft/Hard-ware: The main output for this group was the repair of four desktop computers for the host schools. A number of phones were repaired in the course of the training too.
11. Catering Craft/Event Management: The output for this trade are as expected perishable. The team member produced snacks like strawberry cake, peanuts, sausage roll, and croutons. They also produced edikankong soup, ugba and stock fish salad.
12. Motor Vehicle Mechanic: The main outcome of the training is that the trainee teachers are now able to use the newly installed modern wheel balancing machines as well as the tyre changing machines for their purposes.
One key lesson is that partnership works to great effect. The partnership between ANSEPIP, Ministry of Education and Kiara college produced whatever success recorded in this programme.
Another key lesson in the training is that commitment can make the difference. Stakeholder buy-in works to a large extent. The mood during the training confirmed this that. The slogan of the ministry “Nke a bu nke anyi; Oru a bu oru anyi” was enough to galvanise both the teachers and the trainers.
Though the programme is a success by all standards, but all hands must continuously be on deck to ensure that technical skills development, particularly as it relates to technical and vocational education in the state is what it should be. Some of the supplied equipment were not ready for use as the time of the training.
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