By Felix Alade
As a technical and vocational based institution that is committed to improving research and developmental activities, demonstrated through the provision of support to staff and students to improve on research skills built on knowledge and by providing the enabling environment and sponsorship, Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) was recently chosen as the only pioneer Innovation hubs (I-hubs) institution in Nigeria by UNESCO/UNEVOC in Bonn, Germany.
I-hubs initiative comprises a substantial change in the way Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET) is practised in an institution, making it more relevant to the needs of the economy, society and environment.
The UNESCO-UNEVOC skills for I-hubs initiative were inspired by the challenges and opportunities facing TVET from major ongoing global disruptions affecting the economy, society and environment.
Yabatech was chosen as the only I-hubs centre in Nigeria because UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre of the College has been showcasing numerous innovations, and has been actively involved in producing graduate that would be an employer of labour to drastically reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.
Research is a critical factor in the innovation process, and without it, there will be no innovation and technological advancement. The existence of l-hubs in Yabatech will incubate new ideas, develop innovation capacity, culture and advocacy, engage ecosystem partners and assets, anticipate skill needs, target innovation for youth, adults and vulnerable groups, provide mix of innovation and technical skills, create new curricula and qualifications and empowering teachers and trainers to deliver new teaching and training processes.
There are only three I-hub centres in entire Africa, Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, Kenya, Institute of Technology, Seychelles, and Yaba College of Technology, Nigeria.
Yabatech UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre recently organized stakeholders meeting to sensitize Yabatech community about the I-hub, and the forthcoming visitation of the foreign assessors from October 21 to 25, 2019 to validate the College status as the only I-hubs centre in Nigeria.
The purpose of the General Self Assessment (GSA) meeting is to familiarize internal and external stakeholders with strategic objectives of the skills for I-hub, consolidate an institution-wide evidence basis of innovation in the institution that takes into account feedback from different stakeholders perspectives, and establish as well as measure key performance of key indicators that can be used to monitor progress over time for the institutions innovation development.
During GSA meeting 5 papers were presented: Introduction to YCT l-hubs by the Rector of the College, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe, Guided Self-Assessment by the Director of UNEVOC Centre, Dr. Ifeoma Akeredolu, The Balanced Score-card by the Director of Flexible Skills Development (FSD), Dr. Ibrahim Abdul, Internal Stakeholders & Evidence of Innovation by the Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics, Dr. Martins Nzekwe, Product & Services by Senior Research Officer in Applied Research & Technology Innovation (ARTI), Mrs. Abosede Rufus.