By Chinyere Nwachukwu
Lagos – The Federal Government on Saturday called on parents to be patient with their children and wards in their academic performances to reduce the wave of suicide.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, made the call at the 11th annual Speech/Prize Giving Day and Valedictory Service of the Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Lagos.
“We must make deliberate efforts to stem the tide of suicide that is rising in our society.
“This starts from the actions we take after a ceremony like this,” Echono said.
He said that parents should not have unrealistic expectations from their children or mount other pressures that could lead to frustration.
The official urged students to be focused and disciplined as well as strive to do their best at all times.
He re-iterated the commitment of the Federal Government to restructure the school system for more effective teaching and learning.
According to Echono, the restructuring will facilitate students’ excellence and development of skills for self-reliance.
He said that education remained the legacy required in building and sustaining any nation.
“There is no country in the world that can rise above the level of education of its citizenry.
“We wiil, therefore, continue to do our best in ensuring that our plans of restructuring the education system is achieved in the near future,” he said.
The official called on other stakeholders in the sector to cooperate with the government in realising the dream,” he said.
In her remarks, the Director, Technology and Science Education in the ministry, Mrs Elizabeth Adedigba, said that the Federal Government was planning to establish skill acquisition centres across the country.
According to her, the plan is in an effort to tackle the rising rate of unemployment among young school leavers.
“The Federal Government has already set up a committee to look into this. These skill centres are going to be established across all the six geo-political zones.
“This is a place where we also plan to train out-of-school children.
“Already, there are centres established by both public and private stakeholders but we plan to harmonise them and see how we can achieve this one big common goal.
“We are also planning to resuscitate the Technical Teachers’ Training programme that will enable us to train teachers and thereafter send them to various schools to train children and equip them with hands-on-skills,” Adedigba said.
She enjoined the graduating students to think critically, adding that intelligence combined with character was important.
“As responsible young adults and worthy ambassador of this college and the society at large, you also need to be courageous and learn to be yourself always,” she said.
In her address of welcome, the Principal of the college, Dr Ogochuku Ufoegbune, said that there was the need for overhaul of the education curriculum to suit the work need of the society.
According to her, a way out of unemployment is to establish more technical and vocational schools.
She also said that there was the need for re-orientation of parents on technical education.
“We must begin to tell ourselves the truth as stakeholders when it comes to technical education in this country.
“The sooner we all realise that a way out of unemployment is skill acquisition or hand-on-training, especially for our children, the better for us as individuals and acountry.
“Ours is a technical college; some of my students graduating here today are good to go.
”They are already equipped with those skills that will enable them to start their own little businesses, and that is the way to go.
“In all, therefore, we should redirect our system of education,” she said.
Ufoegbune said that the technical workshops of the institution were fully functional.
She said that before now, most of the equipment in the 19 technical workshops were obsolete, adding that with the intervention of government and other key stakeholders, they started full operations.
“Our printing section, electrical and engineering sections are working to full capacities, with their equipment fully revitalised with standby generators.”
The principal, however, said that the college was in need of more classrooms and hostels to take care of increasing population of students.
“This is about one of the largest secondary schools in the country; as a result, we need more accommodation to cater for our staff and students to enhance teaching and learning,” she said.
The college’s Parent Teacher Association Chairman, Mr Olisa Anene, called on parents to partner with the college in instilling discipline in students.
He also urged parents to monitor their children’s activities and seek to discover and develop th6e innate talents.