THE PLACE OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TVET) IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION (STI) POLICY: THE NEED FOR POLICY REFORMATION IN NIGERIA
Authors: Chukwuemeka B. Okafor, Samson O. Chukwuedo
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Educational policy is a fundamental document that guides the smooth running of any educational programme. If not properly planned, prepared and implemented, such education programme can be run haphazardly without any beneficial outcome. Any policy document that cannot be applied in any educational programme may be described as inadequate. A science or technology based policy should not consider only the advanced level technology in Nigeria but also integrate the lower or indigenous level technology; hence STI policy should not neglect the TVET indigenous technologies since TVET is seen as programme to promote skill acquisition for indigenous and advanced technology in any nation. This study, therefore, investigated the place of TVET programmes in STI policy in Nigeria. The study determined that the place of TVET in STI policy may be described as illusion, mirage or not comprehensive to the public because the policy formulation and implementation appears to neglect the adoption of low level indigenous TVET technologies in Nigeria which an average Nigerian benefits from. Theories and philosophical dicta were presented with respect to policy advocacy for TVET programmes in Nigeria. The place of TVET in STI policy is undefined in Nigeria, hence the need to properly integrate TVET section in STI policy or formulate an independent TVET policy. It is, therefore, recommended that applicable societal values in technology should be considered in STI policy for the realization of the Nigerian vision 20:2020. The STI policy making and implementation process should embrace 90% of the experts in the fields of science, technology, technical and engineering education, else the need for alternative policy for TVET programmes in Nigeria.