Education is an act by which society transmit its accumulated knowledge, mind, character, skills and values (personal and cultural) from one generation to another. In other words education is a basic human right and considered as a key tool for every national development.
Technical education is fundamentally basic and rudimentary to technology which in turn is the tool of development that gives an individual the skills to become a productive citizen in a global society.
Technical education has a major role to play by providing the much needed skilled man-power in various spheres of endeavor without which the engineers, scientists, inventors and so on will find it rather impossible to operate. It has to been an integral part of national development strategy in any societies because of its impact on productivity and economic development.
Inspite of its contribution, Nigeria as a nation has not given the attention it deserves. Nigeria educational institution has been on academic qualification rather than skill acquisition and problem solving activities. While there are thousands of secondary schools across the nation, the total number of science and technical colleges is far below 200.
The effort of our universities, polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education has not produced the type and quality of skilled worker that can support our economy in the 21st century.
There is a wide gap between theoretical curriculum taught in tertiary institution and the practical skill needed by employees of labour, therefore making the educational system and the world of work one of the major challenges Nigeria is facing today.
While technical education has continued to thrive in many societies, Nigeria has neglected this aspect of education in which the government technical colleges which are wide spread all over the federation have continued to perform below expectation in terms of the quality and quantity of trainings and trainee.
Poor funding, low quality of students and inadequately prepared teachers have continued to rubbish technical education by making it unattractive to the teeming youths. The problem in the education sector have become so serious that the UNESCO recently concluded that the aim of various government is to combat poverty through the establishment of different programmes aimed at job creation and poverty reduction has failed and will continue to fail if the youth lack the necessary practical skill.
Therefore the dynamic of global labour market have been tilting towards the replacement of physical labour by knowledge and innovation skills, the undisputed facts remains that the knowledgeable and competitive skilled force are in desperate short supply in Nigeria today.
Similarly, technical education in Nigeria is fraught with problems, which hamper it ability to produce adequate number and the quality of skilled technical manpower required to lift our country from the unenviable state of technological irrelevance and economic depression.
The neglect of technical education is socially and economically injurious because it is robbing the nation of the contribution the graduates would make on national development. For that reason Nigeria today is wearing the toga of a poor state, because of the sorry state of the nation tertiary institution. Many of the graduates lack, “employability” skills, which could easily be acquired from technical colleges, therefore it is no longer news that the nations youths unemployment rates has been shooting up the sky.
The nations’ technical schools should be brought to international standard by imploring teachers with field experience in the subject areas, experienced and professional administrators to run technical institution as obtained in the developed nations. Technical graduates should be thoroughly certified before they can practice as technicians.
It is therefore viewed that national development must be a country’s development target. Technical education in national development is linked to human resources development in which it has significant impact on the economic growth as well as the development of individual and society.
Nations should begin now to take very seriously investment in technical education as no nation can compete effectively in the emerging global market with poorly educated and unskilled workers. The leading factors of production in the emerging global economy are said to be technology, knowledge, creativity and innovation. However the progress of any society lies in the productivity of its citizens. Higher productivity gives a nation advantage of economies of scale and lowers the cost of production as well as prices of goods and services.
Finally the nation’s (Nigeria) vision 20-20 and the seven point agenda will remain a paper tiger without technical education because “no nation can fight a war without an army”. Therefore a balanced skilled workforce plays a more holistic role in every national development.