By NBF News

Vocational and technical education is an aspect of learning which leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge. It is a form of education designed to prepare students for industry, agriculture and commerce, among others, usually provided at the senior secondary or lower tertiary level.

Technical education is a planned programme of course and learning experience that begins with exploration of career options, supports basic academic and life skills, and enables achievement of high academic standards, leadership, preparation for industry-defined work, and advanced and continuing education.

Vocational education and training prepares learners for careers that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. In other words, it is an education designed to develop occupational skills.

Vocational and technical education gives individuals the skills to live, learn and work as a productive citizen in a global society. The aims and objectives of vocational and technical education as contained in the National Policy of Education revised in 2004 include: provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and business particularly at craft, advanced craft and technical levels.

Provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural commercial and economic development

Give training and impart the necessary skills to individual who shall be self-reliant economically.

It, therefore, forms a practical segment of education concerned or targeted at skill acquisition.

This form of education can also be seen as a form of learning designed, tailored and targeted at preparing individuals for gainful employment as semi-skilled or skilled worker or technicians or sub-professional in recognized occupations in new and emerging occupations or to prepare individual for enrolment in advanced technical education programme.

Vocational and Technical education has impacted on socio-political productivity and economic development of most nations. This has made VTE an integral part of national development strategies of such societies. However, despite its contribution to societal and economic development. Nigerian leaders have not given this aspect of education the attention it deserves. This could be one of the reasons for the nation's underdevelopment.

It is, therefore, imperative that Nigerians and the Federal Republic of Nigeria be made to wake up from the long negligence of vocational and technical education. Though there are a couple of technical colleges in the country, they are poorly funded with little or no functioning equipment. and have become 'glorified secondary schools.'

Ewere writes from UNN,Nsukka