The Federal Government of Nigeria has urged citizens to focus on technical education, where they would be taught how to earn a living through skills, rather than relying on jobs provided by the government after graduating from school. Parents were also advised to urgent their wards to do this, stating that the world has transitioned from the days of white-collar jobs. This statement was made by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, after overseeing the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB), in Abuja.
In his statement, he commended the general conduct of the NABTEB which began across the country last week. He added that registered students in a few states were denied permission to write the examination because the state governments under which they were registered did not provide the money for their examination. Adejo defended the decision to take action to recover the amount owed by some state governments to the examination body. However, names of involved states and amount owed to NABTEB were not disclosed.
State governments owe examination fees to NABTEB.
Highlighting an improvement in the 2023 examination, the Permanent Secretary asserted that he do encourage Nigerians to embrace technical examinations. He continued by saying that what one achieves today is what can be done with one’s hands. NABTEB, at the pre-tertiary education level, ensures provision of an opportunity to be trained to possess business mindedness and technological fields. Currently, in Nigeria’s university system and tertiary institutions, there is also a diversion into innovation and entrepreneurship to make a difference.
According to Adejo, the examination body needs the funds owed by state governments to function properly. Therefore, he appealed with state governors to pay up their debts because education is on the concurrent list. These states agreed to register their students without a fee but have refused to pay the fees to NABTEB. Prior to this period, students were usually allowed to write their examination without the fee but the debts of the states kept accumulating. This lack of payment has affect the body because the examination materials and invigilation requires money.
Ministry of Education monitored conduction of the examination.
Therefore, states are advised to pay the fees of students if they agree to register. The Permanent Secretary stated that the Federal Ministry of Education monitor the examination to see how the process is carried out in the physical aspects of happenings and what are ignored during marking and other aspects. He added that the examination did not start earlier because it rained and the weather was not conducive enough to commence; the examination started about five minutes late.
Adejo expressed satisfaction at the conduction of the examination. The monitoring ensured that the question papers were intact and the examination was taken by the registered students and not mercenaries. This was done by a crosscheck of the students’ paper against NABTEB’s register. It was also ensured that the examination hall does not give the opportunity to cheat. So far so good, the Federal Ministry of Education’s Permanent Secretary affirmed it is a good start for 2023 examinations.
NABTEB is one week into this year’s examination with 54,301 candidates.
Registrar of the National Board for Technical Education, Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, also lamented huge debts owed by some state governments. Despite the refusal to permit students whose state governments owe the examination from writing, 54,301 candidates were enrolled for this year. She also emphasized on the need to encourage technical education more, stating that more students are needed because skills are acquired through this. In her statement, she acknowledged that the body is one week into the examination, starting with mandatory general education subjects.