The Chairman, Ekiti Board for Technical and Vocational Education, Hon. Kayode Babade, says technical colleges across the state are being repositioned to boost vocational skills.
Babade, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, said that government was poised to revive the technical colleges from its moribund state.
He however, refuted the claim by a former deputy governor in the state that their administration was responsible for the renovation and reconstruction of the Government Technical College, Ado-Ekiti.
The former deputy governor had granted a live interview on a privately owned radio station in Ado-Ekiti, saying that their administration completed the Government Technical College, Ado-Ekiti up to 99 per cent before leaving office.
Babade, however, said that the plan for remodeling the school was conceived and planned during the first term of Gov. Kayode Fayemi in office.
NAN reports that the technical education came into being in 1979 from the old Ondo State to enhance the development of youths with special skills.
According to Babade, a long neglect of the school which lingered to the first term in office of Gov. Fayemi in 2011 made him set machinery in motion through the World Bank State Education Programme Investment Project (SEPIP) project to renovate the college to meet world standard.
He described the claim by the former deputy governor as baseless alleging that their administration owed the contractor more than N500 million which the present government was now paying back since government is continuum.
The chairman described the disposition of Gov Fayemi to technical education as second to none, which has helped the board to increase the number of enrolment in the school to over 2,000 compared to less 200 in the previous governments.
Babade said that the state government, in partnership with the World Bank had concluded plan to begin another project to revamp other technical schools in the state.
He gave the assurance that facilities at the technical college, Ado-Ekiti would soon be handed over completely to the government and function to its full capacity.
“Governor Fayemi use his influence and contacts to bring in the World Bank on a project called SEPIP but unfortunately did not win the election for the second term as the project was about starting.
“Then, he handed over because governance is a continuum but nothing happened in the school until May 2018.
“The then administration left a debt of N547 million not paid to the contractor, though the contractor has done a substantial job in terms of renovation of buildings when he locked up the buildings.
“The school resumed with just six functional classrooms, but in the course of Gov. Fayemi’s government, is gradually defraying the debts, the contractor started releasing these facilities and so far, they have released 20 classrooms.
“The Physics, Chemistry and Biology laboratories have been released, Computer centers, Library, school hall and Principal’s quarters have also been released,” Babade revealed.
He said that the governor believed in technical education, because he knew that the future of our youths is in their ability to use their brain and heads now that the white collar job is no longer there.
The board chairman informed Ekiti people that the state government in partnership with the World Bank had also concluded plans to begin another projects to revamp other technical colleges in the state.
“The world over is today surrounded by technical education expertise, any nation that is lagging behind in this respect is dead and we want people at home to understand that, today, you are a better person when you can use your hands and brain,” he said.
Babade said that the board had been saddled with the responsibility of upgrading the standard of technical colleges in the state to a world class status.
“Currently, the technical college in Ado-Ekiti has received massive renovation and is set as the model for other four colleges situated at Otun, Ikole, Ijero and Igbara-Odo.
“Technical education is not a place for drop outs, but where even existing artisans, retirees, and everyone, who intend to upgrade their skills and all the science courses are offered,” he said. (NAN)