From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, has challenged stakeholders in the education sector to evolve a new approach to rendering education in the country, noting that the ‘white-collar-focused’ system can no longer support national development.

He made the call at the official flag-off of the Innovation Development and Effectiveness in Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project in Abuja on Monday.

The Federal Ministry of Education organised the workshop in collaboration with the World Bank in its determination to ensure the success of the IDEAS project.

World Bank is supporting the IDEAS Project in each of the participating state (Abia, Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe and Kano) with the sum of $200 million credit facility for implementation.

Represented by the Ekiti State Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Mrs. Olabimpe Aderiye, Fayemi, who spoke on the topic “Re-engineering the Nigerian mind from white collar to blue collar enterprises”,

noted that the focus of education in Nigeria, which he said was bequeathed by colonial masters and has so far been retained by successive indigenous administrations, has drastically fallen behind in the contemporary world, making it mandatory for governments at all levels in the country to seek a more fitting system of education for today’s world.

Fayemi went on to say that in today’s world, digital, entrepreneurial, and vocational skills, in addition to traditional education, are required for any nation to catch up with the rest of the world, urging all stakeholders, including government, to urgently come up with the necessary redirection to a system capable of providing solutions to Nigeria’s myriad of challenges.

“On a general note, education is an essential aspect of civilization and it is an impetus for individual and societal growth and development. Therefore, no contemporary nation can toy with her educational system because the educational system of a country will speak volume about her progress.

“The educational system bequeathed to us by our colonial masters and the current system of education in Nigeria are gradually being overtaken by civilization and technological advancement, manifesting in artificial intelligence, automation robotics and the likes, thereby resulting in educational policy summersault and labour market congestion, with its attendant vices.

“Arising from this standpoint therefore, there is the urgent need to rejig our educational system to proffer solutions to the avalanche of challenges confronting us as a nation. It is high time we tackled the menace with strong determination for a paradigm shift from the white collar to the blue-collar enterprises”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has noted that the successful implementation of the IDEAS Project would further help Nigeria to grow its economy, just as he emphasised the importance of monitoring and evaluating towards achieving the objectives of the project.

The Minister, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejoh, stressed that the training workshop provides monitoring and evaluation officers with the opportunity to better their capacity to effectively carry out their assigned activities across all four project components.

Adamu, while thanking the World Bank for providing the necessary support for the national project launch technical session to be able to get the result yearning for, also emphasised that the training was meant to achieve the sole aim of strengthening, monitoring and evaluation capacity in the management of the IDEAS Project.

The Country Director of World Bank in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, on this part urged the benefitting states to make a judicious use of the funds to improve the education sector in their states.

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Source: news