Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, has urged Ekiti people to join hands with the state government in its bid to reposition technical and vocational education, saying this will tackle youth unemployment.
Babalola, who said government alone could not fund education due to the competing needs of other sectors, urged the private sector to adopt a new approach towards supporting the state government in tackling the series of deficit confronting it in the institutions of learning.
The ABUAD founder spoke in Ado Ekiti while playing host to members of the Board for Technical and Vocational Education, led by its Chairman, Kayode Babade, who paid him an advocacy visit in his office.
He said both the government and the private sector could partner to lift the educational sector in the state. He noted that the efforts of Governor Kayode Fayemi and the chairman and members of BTVE had significantly helped the fortunes of technical colleges in the state that were already dying.
“I strongly believe the private sector must go beyond just the payment of education levy and be ready to join hands with the state government in expanded funding for its education sector. This will ensure the technical colleges produce graduates who can transform this state and in extension, the nation,” Babalola said.
Babalola said he fashioned out strategies for integrating entrepreneurship into the educational curriculum in ABUAD in line with what obtains in the Western world because of his passion for education. He therefore pledged to donate a hostel complex to Government Technical College, Ado Ekiti.
Babade, who described the ABUAD founder’s pledge of a hostel building as a big relief, said “lack of adequate accommodation is one of the nightmares of the technical college in Ado-Ekiti.”
The BTVE chairman urged all able Nigerians to emulate Babalola and intervene in the educational sector.