By Danladi Al-Hassan
The Federal Government has approved the sum of N3.2 billion as the take-off grant for the proposed 16 Federal Science and Technical Colleges in some states of the federation.
Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, who announced this, explained that the colleges would be established in phases across the country in states that do not have the Federal Science and Technical Colleges sited in their area.
Echono, speaking at a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja said following the approval by the Presidency, there had been ongoing efforts to ensure that the 16 colleges are established in the beneficiary states.
He revealed that the approval was conveyed to the respective states and a team from the ministry had already visited some of the locations recommended by states for the establishment of the colleges.
He noted that while the new colleges were being established, the existing ones would be repositioned and equipped with the tools and resources required for effective teaching and learning.
Echono, said as part of the concerted efforts to boost science and technical education in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education has organised sensitisation and re-orientation workshops as well as training on the enhancement of pedagogical skills with emphasis on students’ centred teaching approaches in vocational trades.
A document, ‘Federal Ministry of Education Short & Medium Term Work Plan on the implementation of Education For Change Ministerial Strategic Plan’, already details the plan for the establishment of the colleges.
The document included six states (Kogi, Jigawa, Kano, Ebonyi, Imo, and Oyo) in the first phase to take-off in 2020 with the grant of N200 million for each new college totalling N1.2 billion.
“The budget for the establishment of 5 FSTCs in 2021 and 2022 is one billion nairas respectively,” it stated.
While Bauchi, Plateau, Sokoto, Enugu, and Cross Rivers states would benefit from the second phase in 2021, Gombe, Kwara, Zamfara, Yobe and Delta would have their colleges established in the third phase in 2022.
One of the resolutions of the Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday 12th October 2016 was the need for the establishment of more Federal Science and Technical Colleges in the country in order to improve the delivery of technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
Accordingly, the Federal Ministry of Education raised a memorandum to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the present distribution of the existing 21 FSTCs, and the 16 states of the federation that do not have any site in their areas.