ITF seeks increased funding to boost Nigerian SIWES
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is seeking the collaboration of stakeholders in the funding of Nigeria Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), as a means to boost the country capacity to instill skill in undergraduates and engender their experiences in the world of work.
Speaking at the 13th SIWES Biennial conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the Director General of ITF, Joseph Ari said “my management realized that laudable as the Scheme (SIWES) is to the overall development of our educational sector as well as the positive impartation of requisite skills among the nation’s undergraduates, there are challenges hindering the full realization of the objective of the Scheme”.
Ari explained that, “these challenges have given rise to a yawning gap in addressing the disconnect between theory and practice in our educational curriculum. It is imperative to state that the Scheme was established in 1973, it had a clear operational framework”.
“Over the years, the relevance of this framework has been diminished by a myriad of challenges. Not much has been achieved with regards to funding, therefore, this conference is expected to address funding challenges and also resolve the issue of geometric increase in the number of courses and students involved in the Scheme” he noted.
The DG said that in spite of the challenges facing the SIWES, “I make bold to say that the Scheme has achieved significant success, and ITF has remained passionately committed to its sustenance”.
He noted that the Scheme has succeeded in establishing a closer collaboration between institutions and industries, a factor which is essential for preparing young people for the world of work.
In a paper titled; Job Specification and Standardisation of SIWES, presented by Dr M. A. Kazaure at the conference, the writer also Harper on the need for stakeholders to support the Scheme financially.
Kazaure stated that, ” developing and reviewing job specification is an extensive exercise requiring very significant funding. Apart from this, the cost of monitoring compliance to job specification and SIWES minimum standard could be far above the size of the coffers of the supervisory agency. In essence, there is a dire need for the funding collaboration amongst SIWES stakeholders to realize the above policies of the Scheme”.
He explained that the industrial experience occupy a highly significant place in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) curriculum. “This is because it is the bridge that enable classroom theories mixed with industry practice”.
Stakeholders at the two days conference are expected to make contributions that will suggest increased funding of SIWES.
CREDIT: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE