By Emmanuella Anokam
An NGO, Ladi Memorial Foundation (LMF), Chateko Vocational Institute (CVI), has commenced its Young Entrepreneurs Club Abuja Project (YECAP) to train and empower 100 students and drop outs in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation trains and equips youths and women with vocational and technical skills for improved livelihoods and productivity toward reducing poverty and unemployment in the country.
Its Executive Director, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, on Friday unveiled a six-month co-curriculum on Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) skills for Entrepreneurship and Employability for students of Government Secondary School (GSS), Pyakasa, Abuja.
The first batch of 31 students were selected out of 100 participants of the free scalable training which would run during school period, weekends and during holidays from July to December 2021.
NAN reports that the 100 beneficiaries comprised 31 Senior Secondary Students (SSS), 30 JSS students and 39 school drop outs/teenage parents for the training on Garments making and catering trade crafts.
The NGO also acquired and displayed sewing machines and several equipment for training in catering services for empowering the beneficiaries.
They will equally be connected to practicing artisans and required to showcase individual projects in exhibition upon graduation.
Osikoya said the training became necessary due to high number of out-of-school children while most children in schools aspired for white collar jobs, and often completed basic education without vocational skills.
According to her, this is against a background of robust education policy provision that children should acquire vocational skills by completion of JSS 3 and it should be an issue of concern to all.
She noted the aim of TVET project was to cultivate and engender interest in entrepreneurship in young people, build leadership skills, maximise their potential, identify skills and expose participants to career paths.
The LMF boss explained that to achieve its specific objectives, support of wide array of stakeholders through donations, sponsorship, material and expert skills support were required.
“The YECAP is designed to ensure participants develop market ready, employable skills at the end of six months in line with National Business, Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) Modular Skills Syllabus.
“The National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) launch in 2018 provides the policy framework for equating informal and non informal education, but sensitisation remains limited.
“Stigmatisation of TVET is prevalent in many communities but the LMF presents credible platforms for effective sensitisation and advocacy because it is designed to meet the requirements,” she said.
In a remark, Mr Kashim Ali, the Vice Chairman, LMF Board of Trustees said the NGO started operations in 2017 in Kogi state following observed need for sustainable interventions in quality skills development for survival and gainful employment/entrepreneurship.
Ali disclosed that it established CVI in 2018 and had constructed two functional vocational training centres in rural and urban locations in Kogi while it had trained over 500 people.
“It provides 100 per cent free training and accommodation for poor rural youths since inception to improve livelihoods but sadly the support scaled down due to COVID-19 impact on the NGO’s funding,” he noted.
In an appreciation, Hajia Amina Abdullahi, the Principal of the School expressed gratitude to the NGO for considering the school to extend its charitable gesture for economic development.
Abdullahi, however, advised the students to utilise the opportunity to gain skills knowledge which was trending for self reliance.
NAN reports that the students also expressed enthusiasm and joy to participate in the training, adding that they were overwhelmed by the privilege and promised not to disappoint the NGO and the school authority. (NAN)