The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Polytechnics and Higher Technical Education, Adegboyega Isiaka, advocates for increasing the budgetary allocation to education to a minimum of 15%, with a specific call for technical education to be upgraded to at least 30% of the education allocation. At the committee’s inauguration in Abuja, Isiaka emphasizes that such changes, coupled with systemic and attitudinal shifts, would position the country for national growth and global competitiveness in 21st-century skills.
Isiaka underscores the urgency of transitioning young people from education to employment, asserting that a successful education-to-employment system demands new incentives and structures. He calls for a paradigm shift in focus towards future jobs, questioning the alignment of tertiary institution curricula with job suitability and entrepreneurship.
Highlighting the committee’s significance, Isiaka notes that until the 10th National Assembly, it did not exist independently, operating under the broader committee on tertiary education. He credits the current House leadership’s prioritization of education, especially technical education, as vital for development in a knowledge-based economy.
Isiaka emphasizes the role of technical education in human resource development, linking it to improved productivity and socio-economic development. Quoting the World Bank, he stresses that growth depends on the knowledge and skills acquired, not just the duration spent in the classroom.
Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, represented by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, concurs with Isiaka, asserting that significant economic growth is impossible without adequate investment in education. Abbas recommends technical skills development to address unemployment, recognizing the pivotal role of polytechnics and higher technical education in providing specialized skills for national development.
In conclusion, the leaders express the importance of periodic programs, like the committee’s initiatives, to empower institutions for skills development and capacity building, acknowledging the crucial role polytechnics play in bridging human resource gaps across various sectors.