The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for more investment in new skill sets that will enable the youth function optimally in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) global economy.
Obaseki made this submission in commemoration of the World Youth Skills Day, marked by the United Nations and its sister agencies on July 15, each year.
The governor said: “COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time, according to medical experts, and leaders across the world need to start looking at the growth opportunities around the pandemic.
“Governments at all levels, development partners and allied institutions and groups must begin to equip the youth with new skill sets that will enable them function optimally in the emerging world order that relies on Information Communication Technology (ICT).”
Obaseki noted that ICT skills are now highly sought after by everyone, to enable them work from home and minimize their chances of contracting the disease.
Sharing the Edo State experience with regard to her level of preparedness for the post-COVID-19 economy, he said: “In the education sector, we have prioritised Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as demonstrated by our huge investment in the revamp of former Benin Technical College, now Government Science and Technical College, and similar institutions across the state.
“At the basic education level, my administration is leveraging the EdoBest@home, an online schooling programme, which allows school pupils to access educational materials from an online database. Our plan is to scale up this initiative in the coming months so that more people will benefit from it.”
He emphasised that “Edo State is well positioned for an ICT-driven economy given our huge investment in support structures such as the fiber optics cable which we have extended to many parts of the state.
“We have an Innovation Hub that has produced some of the most innovative youths that have represented the state and country at several local and international ICT events.”
According to the United Nations, the World youth skills day was designated by the General Assembly in 2014, and provides the opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.