By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Ladi Memorial Foundation has commenced the Incentivised Schools Sewing Competition Project (SSCP) among schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to promote vocational education in the country.
At the inauguration in Abuja, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Mrs Rosemary Ojochenemi said the aim of the programme was to strengthen stakeholders’ collaboration for vocational education and training.
Ojochenemi said this would be done through the Incentivized Pilot Schools Sewing Championship Project.
“Extra-curricular activities and every education supporting activities help to bring young people together to learn through play and also bring in other values for productivity to achieve the goals of national policy on education.
“Education is the driver of any economy and so to bridge the disconnect between education and other sectors required that every individual stakeholder will contribute towards making the school the centre of development,” she said.
According to Ojochenemi, the project is in three stages and every child between the age of 12 and 20 is eligible to contest and it is free.
She said that at the end of the competition, the school that won the first position would be given 15 sewing machines; second position would have 10 while third would be given five.
Ojochenemi said that the idea was to strengthen vocational training in schools.
“For individual contestant; the winner will have an industrial sewing and weaving machines, second position will have a manual sewing and manual weaving machines.
“The third position will get one manual weaving machine and they will also be certified,” she said.
Ojochenemi thanked all the stakeholders for their various support for the programme.
Prof. Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) while expressing the board’s support for the project towards promoting skills among the young children, commended the Foundation.
“This is very remarkable, we are already directing every technical school to set up skills training centre.
“Also, we are trying to ensure that every graduate of National Diploma or Higher National Diploma has at least one certified skill.
“This is so that when they graduate, if their academic qualifications do not give them job, they will be able to earn with their skills qualifications,” Bugaje said.
He expressed hope that the project got to every school, not only in the FCT, but across Nigeria adding that sewing is one of the most important skills in human civilization.
On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah said that skills acquisition, vocational training and empowerment were top priorities of the present administration.
“The initiative is a project that is basic to building and sustaining individual and societal development, thereby leading to a new narrative or productive, innovative and efficient functional citizens,” Opiah said.
He commended the efforts of management of the Foundation for its innovativeness in initiating the championship in public schools.
According to Opiah, Nigeria stands the risk of being left behind if the youths are not exposed to future opportunities in empowering their environment.
“Hence, a forum like this is for the discovery of creative skills, attitudes and competencies necessary in converting the abundance of non-oil resources into wealth, which is a sure way of turning the economy of our country around,” he said.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Masudur Rahman said that it was imperative to promote vocational training of the young ones because they are the future of the nation.
“Investing in children in the school to know the techniques of sewing will go a long way to revolutionize the garments and textile industry in the country,” Rahman said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Razak Owolabi