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Unemployment: Ex. Minister Urges Students to Embrace Study Of Science, Technology

From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Worried over the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, a former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Professor Stephen Ikani Ocheni has urged students across the nation’s tertiary institutions to embrace the study of Science and Technology that would enable them acquire skills for self-sustaining as white collar jobs are no longer available.

Professor Ocheni noted that the study of science and Technology would make them to be relevant in the global competitive digital age.

Professor Ocheni gave the charge over the weekend during the 25th combined convocation and 45th anniversary celebration of the Federal Polytechnic Idah in Kogi state.

He said the world is driven by science and technology, hence, anyone or nation that want to be relevant must take its study very seriously for Social and economic empowerment.

Professor Ocheni whose wife, Dr. Regina Ingekem Ocheni is the Deputy chief of mission to Germany and a recipient of the distinguished fellow of the institution, said science and Technology is the way to go hence , parents should encourage their children and wards to study science based subjects at the secondary level of their education.

He said polytechnic education was designed to achieve technological advantage for the country and that was why the goal of the federal Government in establishing federal polytechnic Idah in 1977 was to provide latest manpower for the country in science and Technology.

The former minister, who is also an academician , pointed out that the recent influx of management and social science courses in the polytechnics is at variance with the intent and purposes of the policy.

He averred that the main goal of polytechnic education is the main frame of technical and vocational education , stressing that the admission policy was in the ratio of 70:30% in favour of science and technology based courses.

He added that the main focus is to be able to train the youths for technological advantage and self reliance and sustainability.

He advised the management of polytechnics to keep to the admission policy in order to achieve desired goals for the technological breakthrough for the country.

Ocheni noted that the panacea for massive unemployment plaguing our country is for the youth to go for science and technology courses as it allows creative thinking which will ultimately birth lot of innovations thereby creating jobs.

On the award of fellow to his wife by the institution, he said” My wife is an alumnus of this institution, and I am also an alumnus. Both of us graduated from this polytechnic. We have been putting in our best and the award given to her today is in line with the saying that ‘ To give honour to whom honour is due’

“I thank God and congratulate every body here. I appreciate the Management, the Council, entire Staff and Students for the honour.”

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