By, Etete Enideneze – Yenagoa
A bill to establish a Federal College in Yenagoa, the Capital of Bayelsa State, has been read the first reading at the Federal House of Representatives.
Titled a “Bill for an Act to Establish a Federal College of Creative Arts and Innovative Enterprise in Yenagoa, it was read, March 23, 2020.
The proposed College is part of the Federal Government’s policy of establishing specialized educational institutions that would blend theoretical knowledge with technical know-how, to boost entrepreneurship and the economy.
Sponsor of the bill, Prof. Steve Azaiki said that Bayelsa State needed more Federal presence in view of the huge oil revenues it contributes to the national coffers, hence the proposition to set up the specialized college in the state.
Prof. Azaiki who represents Yenagoa/Kolokuma-Opokuma Federal Constituency on the plank of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noted that sponsorship of the bill was part of his campaign promises on youth empowerment through education and skills acquisition.
He stated that the proposed College, would nurture talented youths and address the problem of dependence on theoretical paper qualifications in the saturated labour market.
The Lawmaker further stated that the trend of education world over, emphasizes skills-based curriculum to meet demands for technical services, adding that Nigeria could not afford to lag other countries.
According to him, the College was designed to run Ordinary National Diploma, Higher National Diploma, and short-term Certificate programmes in applied arts; entertainment; information communication technologies (ICTs); media; humanities and entrepreneurship.
He added that graduates of the College would be equiped with vital knowledge and skills to undertake self-reliant business ventures in chosen areas, or employment in salaried jobs.
The Legislator also said that Bayelsans could get employed as staff of the college, when established.
Azaiki said, a skills acquisition centre at Polaku-Gbarain in Yenagoa Local Government Area, facilitated by him as Federal Constituency project, would equally empower youths, when operational.
In a related development, a Bill for an Act to Amend the Compulsory Universal Basic Education Act, 2004, has also been read the first time at the House of Representatives, March 22, 2022.
Also sponsored by Prof. Steve Azaiki, the UBE amendment bill seeks to mandate governments at all levels to provide information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the curricular and administrative systems of all primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
Prof. Azaiki stated that the need for equitable inclusion of ICT in primary and secondary schools is to catch up with the latest trends in teaching and learning, especially as the covid-19 pandemic disruption, has woken up many countries to adopt multimedia educational methods.
He stressed that the young ones needed to be prepared to cope with ICTs-based registration and participation in computerized internal and external examinations, as well as effectively undertake online degree programmes, now in vogue.
“Computerization of our schools system will also groom Nigerian youths to cope with studies overseas, where ICTs-based system of education is fully operational”, Prof. Azaiki further stressed.
He thanked speaker of the House, Rt. Honourable Olufemi Gbajabiamila for acceptance of the bills, and prayed for further support from colleagues to make the proposals scale through all the remaining stages.