The Federal Government has given assurance of the safe release of the abducted students of the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri in Kebbi State.
The assurance came about as 84,000 students sat for the 2021 National Business and Technical Examinations Board, NABTEB, on Tuesday.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, representing the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, gave the assurance at the monitoring of the examinations in Abuja.
According to Mr Echono, the minister revealed that necessary measures were being taken to ensure the release of the students.
He said: “Indeed this is the key issue of the moment. We have to keep our students safe in schools. We are particularly dealing with a developing issue with one of our Federal Government College in Birnin Yauri.
“On a whole, measures are being taken to secure their release. We are having multiple interest groups coming together.
“And, we have various layouts of security to ensure that each of our schools will reinforce security and put in place a communication system where information can be shared very quickly.
“A rapid response mechanism had been put in place to ensure quick response in the case of an emergency,’’ he added.
Speaking on the conduct of the 2021 NABTEB, the minister appealed to parents to ensure that their children key into technical skills to advance their future dreams.
According to him, encouraging students to get involved in skills-related subjects could improve their efficiency in the workplace.
He said: “We need to emphasize the need for parents to understand the dynamics which are the changes happening in the work environment and in the job for tomorrow.
“The general tendency that people believe conventional programmes leads to blue and white-collar jobs are emphasized, this is a great mistake that parents are making.
“If you look at the trends around the world, it is not what you know today but what you can do and that is why business and technical subjects are actually increasingly more important than the other.
“We are not discriminating against any subject area but in terms of emphasis and national focus, the government is saying, we should move towards TVET, vocational education, entrepreneurship and skill sector,” he added.
The minister also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of 16 Federal Science and Technical Colleges, FSTC.
He explained that the schools were not only meant to produce low level or middle-skilled manpower through technical colleges but one could also acquire technical skills in various professions, hence, self actualization could be achieved.
In her remarks, the Registrar of NABTEB, Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, noted that the examination was conducted in a peaceful environment across the country.
According to her, the board had over 50 trades which certified that candidates could be craftsmen at the end of their studies.
She said: “I have monitored the examinations in Osun, Ogun and in Lagos and it has been seamless as there were many candidates in FSTC Yaba in Lagos, as over 500 candidates took the examinations and at Agidingbi Ikeja, the candidates were about 300.
“NABTEB has over 50 trades which certifies candidates to become craftsmen and it does not preclude education generally because we have the components including general education, trade-related subjects which you can diversify to have a robust structure.
“The ministry is focusing on TVET to help to have the youths employed,” she added.