Gov Abiodun’s New Moves: The Evolution of Modern Ways Of Doing Jobs In Ogun State. - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Gov Abiodun’s New Moves: The Evolution of Modern Ways Of Doing Jobs In Ogun State.

Gov Abiodun’s New Moves: The Evolution of Modern Ways Of Doing Jobs In Ogun State.

By Charles Segun Adegbite

As Robotic Revolution continues to unfold and the world keeps moving deeper into the Age of Internet of Things, IoT, with unending increase in production of diverse robots and Artificial Intelligence, AI, systems for every area of human endeavors, advanced technologies would continue to change the way we live and work.
By 2030, our markets would have been flooded with more smart devices that use Internet of Things, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence, AI, systemsRobots and the AI devices would be doing a lot of jobs that were normally done manually.
By implications, just as numerous printers, computer typists, post office staff, photographers, newspapers vendors and so many others have lost their jobs within the last ten years in Nigeria, the unending increase in production of robots would continue to create more jobs insecurity.
Unless drastic steps are taken now, as more graduates are produced yearly, the rate of unemployment would be too alarming in less than ten years. The “Yahoo, Yahoo” boys, armed robbers and other criminal elements would increase geometrically.
It also implies that the economy would continue to be more technologically driven than it is now. Consequently technical and vocational education, and constant improvement in technology would be needed more. This is very essential so that when you take your cars or smart tv to mechanics or technicians for repairing, they won’t spoil them due to their lack of updated knowledge needed to fix it.
It becomes imperative therefore for technical and vocational education to be taken seriously; both to train students and youths towards making them become creators of jobs rather than losers of jobs. And to inculcate the culture of lifelong learning in artisans and the entire workforce, for them to be able to work well with and maintain these advanced technological devices.
Going by the words of Toby Walsh, a professor of Artificial Intelligenceand Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, “We need to work out, as a society, how to support people as they re-skill to keep ahead of machines…We’re going to have to do lifelong learning and pick up those skills as we go along.
It was in view of this necessity that the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun began to take bold moves towards preparing the state for better ways of doing jobs, by focusing more attention on reforming technical and vocational education.
To this end he appointed Joseph Sunday Odemuyiwa, a professor of Business Education and Office Systems Management , as his Special Adviser on Education, Science and Technology. 
Of course, his areas of specialization is technical and vocational education. He has been a member of the National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB), and President of Workplace Educators and Managers Association of Nigeria (WEMAN) 
“Business Education,” as Odemuyiwa described it, “is vocational and technical. So, he(Gov Abiodun) believes I can perform in that area”
The university don resumed on January 10, 2020. And on May 1, 2020 the governor assigned him the roles of Special Adviser on Technical Education in view of his professorial competence in that field.

READ ALSO: The Robot Revolution: More money, more problems

Gov Abiodun’s New Moves

Odemuyiwa told Successful People Magazine recently, “The governor actually wanted to develop technical education. He is not happy with the situation he met technical education in Ogun State, because he believes there is no way any society or any state can develop without technical education”.

Why Technical Education?

When Prince Abiodun became governor last year and opened a job portal for job seekers, over 25,000 unemployed persons applied in just five days. Of course, that gave the government a clear picture that jobless and underemployed people were many in the state.

The Two Dimensions

There are two dimensions to this issue of technical education. The first has to do with promoting technical education by encouraging many students in secondary and tertiary institutions to embrace technical education.
As Prof Odemuyiwa explained it:”There is no way one will do technical education without going to tertiary or do technical without going to secondary schools. The whole are overlapping. We have technical in secondary , we have technical in tertiary.”
The second dimension has to do with vocational training. This has to do with training artisans and helping artisans to upgrade their skills by giving them standard vocational education to meet international best practices.
The erudite professor added that entrepreneurship training is also an aspect of vocational training which every artisans must learn as well. Business education, according to him, is essential for every professional who wants to make success of their careers.
Reviewing The White Collars Jobs
Prof Odemuyiwa said, “Education that cannot put food on the table of the learner is not education at all. The era of going to school to study a course that will not help you make a living is gone.”
This is true.Why should anyone go to university to study a course that will make one be looking for white collar

Causes of Joblessness

While analysing the root causes of the unemployment problem in the state, Odemuyiwa categorised them into three:
One; Negligence of technical education on the part of government in the past. And that is exactly what this present administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun wants to correct.
Two: The mentality that technical education is meant for the never-do-well, the second class people, the mediocre. This is a big challenge, which we are trying to correct.
Three: There is lack of awareness for potentials in technical education.” He explained.
Looking deeply on the challenges, this university don said, “Then, because of the negligence of this sector, we have a lot of unserviceable equipments, dilapidated infrastructures, paucity of technical instructors, and lack of motivation. All these the governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun wants to correct.”

Retraining To Be Relevant

As Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, explained in the 2018 Future of Jobs report, “it’s critical that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning.
“In addition, businesses and governments need to actively support workforces in learning and developing skills. Automation and AI will generate prosperity and millions of new jobs, but as many as 375 million people worldwide will need to shift occupational categories and upgrade skills during the transition.”

The Way Forward.

To prove that the government is serious about this, the Special Adviser, noted that the Ogun State House of Assembly in May, 2020, “passed the bill to amend the law establishing Ogun State Technical and Vocational Board, so that the Board could be effective. There have been a board. But it has not really been effective.
We are making that Board to be effective now. We are putting the members of the Board on their toes now, because we have started moving round, and making our plans,” he disclosed.

Prof Odemuyiwa’s Goals

Speaking further on the way forward, he said: “I have broken my goals into smaller achievable parts. My first 100 Days, 
One: I intend to build an investment plan for each of the technical colleges. Those technical colleges, many of them have equipment that can sustain themselves. We want to look at a way of linking learning with investments, because we can’t be talking of dilapidated structures, lack of maintenance where we train artisans and technicians.
Two: We want to look at providing a conducive environment for qualitative learning and teaching process. And how do we want to do that? Those people in that place: The learners in that place, the instructors, the master trainers will have to practice what they have been taught in improving their environment.
Within these first 100 days, we want to educate the public about the potential of technical education before the next admission because our admission figures must increase.
And it is only when people know the importance of technical education that they can come in and enrol.

Evaluating The Educational System

While shedding more lights on his goals, Odemuyiwa’s said,
“We want to look at demand driven courses, because it is not all courses now that are being demanded in town. We want to look at the needs of the industries. And that will determine what we will go back to teach in our technical colleges.
“Some programmes are no more relevant. They are not needed. They can’t fetch the learners the necessary food on his or her table. We want to look at them and review, so that those that are on demand, those ones that can make learners to be self sustained, government will fund those ones.
“Two: We also want to look at quality certification, so that our learners will not only be certified to work in Ogun State, but in Nigeria and outside the country. These are the things we think will project technical education better.

Modernising The Way Artisans Do Their Jobs

On what the government was doing to let artisans like motor mechanics and other technicians be able to handle a lot of today’s digital technological devices and meet up with the constant advancement in technology, Odemuyiwa said,
“Every profession needs an update. There is nothing one is doing now that doesn’t need constant updating of one’s knowledge because the world is changing faster than everybody.
“We are in a highly technological driven society. So, the update is not limited to technical education or development of the artisans,” he explained.

Retraining And Certifying Artisans

He told Successful People Magazinethat the government is going to embark on what is called, “Executive Education. That’s inservice training. That means, whatever we do, we want to bring together the adult educators, the industrial educators. So that the new technology for doing whatever field that was being done in the past would be donated to them. We have to update them.”
“There must be a certification to practice. So that’s what we are trying to do now” Odemuyiwa disclosed.
The mechanics there that learnt his trade ten to twenty years ago, the rewiring technicians that learnt his trade ten or thirty years ago, will have to be updated.

No Room For Quackery

He assured that government was ready to upgrade their skills.
“Skill updating programmes will be designed for artisans. Then we would certify them qualitatively when we retrain them through inservice programmes; short courses. That’s what I meant by Quality Certification.” He explained further.
Of course, if this is done, Odemuyiwa said, “Then we can beat our chests in Ogun State and say OK, that the technicians, the artisans that are working in Ogun State are certified. And they are qualified to do that.”

Enforcing The New Rules

How would the government go about this? Odemuyiwa made it clear, “We have a way of controlling and monitoring that; so that if we certify you and you messed up with the skills, by destroying people’s property, you will be in for it. It may be your license that will be withdrawn.”

A Year From Now.

Odemuyiwa however disclosed that by the grace of God, “in the next one year, we want to look back and see great technological developments in this sector.
“We are not limiting our focus on technical schools or colleges. We are extending to all sectors of the technical education. These include the polytechnics, monotechnics, enterprises and vocational training centers, and so on..
“We are considering every way to ensure that whatever we are doing in Ogun State in area of technical education is qualitative technical education.

The Governor And His Clear Focus

The professor made it clear also that the governor has a clear focus, “and he means business. He is planning to change the system. The system must not be the same again. It should not be as it used to be. There must be a change. Mr Governor is poised for a change. A change in the kind of life the people are living.
That is the focus of the governor. He wanted to change things. He believes if some good things are being done elsewhere this way, why can’t we do it that way.
“He doesn’t want us to live the lives of 1960s in the 2020s.
 We are in a technological driven session. A session of a technological revolution. So we want to go by what’s obtainable all over the world. That is why our focus is on international best practices,” Odemuyiwa concluded.

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