Concerned about the level of unemployment in the country, the Director /Principal, Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Yaba, Lagos, Mr. David Omada, has urged youths to acquire technical skills to make them self-reliant, as white collar jobs were no longer available.
Omada gave the charge at the recent valedictory service for the Class of 2023 graduating students of the college.
The theme of the ceremony is: Building Confidence.
A total of 1,290 students drawn from the Science, Technical and Vocational sections, made up the graduating students.
According to Omada, the Federal Government has done a lot in supporting and promoting technical colleges in the country, by introducing the Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project, to boost technical skills acquisition.
He said the World Bank-funded project was essentially to support technical colleges to raise quality and relevant skills acquisition programmes, provide world-class practical skills for young engineers and technologists and enhance the use of digital skills.
The principal noted that work was ongoing, to renovate and equip sections like Building Construction Trades (Block Laying and Concreting, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing and Pipe Fitting, Carpentry and Joinery and Furniture Craft).
He also listed Computer Craft (Robotic Engineering) and Hospitality (Catering Craft Practices), as part of the IDEAS project, for effective impartation.
Omada however appealed to the Federal Government to employ more teachers, especially in trade subjects like furniture, carpentry, plumbing and foundry.
According to him, the school is also grappling with challenges like a shortage of classrooms, but his administration is currently building new classrooms and renovating other structures to improve on what he met on the ground.
He commended the teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as other stakeholders for contributing toward the success of the last academic session, adding that students’ performances in BECE, JAMB, WASSCE and NECO were significantly better than before.
“At the 2022 AGM of principals, FSTC Yaba emerged as the best in NABTEB out of the 112 unity colleges.
“We also hosted the 2022 Federal Unity Colleges Games (FEDCOL) successfully,” he said.
The principal urged the graduates to be good ambassadors of the college and aim high in life, adding that they should use the knowledge acquired over the years to chart a bright future for themselves.
The Chairman of the School-Based Management Committee, Hon. Abiola Bashir-Are, who is also the CEO of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority, stressed the need for technical education, saying that self-sustainability was all about technical skills.
He urged the graduates to be guided by the three core values of the college; punctuality, integrity and respect in their future endeavours.
Chairman of the Parents forum of the college, Dr. Emmanuel Onyenuche, advised the outgoing students to focus on their future and on humanity, so as to create values that would help them and others.
He called for more awareness among parents on the importance of technical colleges, adding that the government should properly equip laboratories and workshops, provide adequate manpower and create job opportunities to make technical education more attractive.