Breaking News


TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION is the tool needed to enhance the productivity and sustainability of a developing Nation. 

In this publication, we tried to explain in detail the vital role that is play by TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AS A TOOL FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

Author: Solomon Omosemhomhe MOCHI

Electrical department,

Government Science and Technical College

Benin-City, Edo State.



This paper focuses on Technical and Vocational Education as a tool for productivity and sustainable national development. Technical and Vocational Education is an aspect of education that provides trained manpower needed for national development.  The manpower contributes to the socio-economic, technical, and industrial sectors of a given nation.

Also, the paper discusses the roles of technical and vocational education in national development by providing trained manpower in applied science, technology, and commerce, creating employment opportunities through the skills acquired which enables the individual to be self-employed and also gain employment in the government sector thereby reducing poverty, among others.

Finally, some recommendations were made such as the recruitment of trained technical education teachers, and giving of in-service training to the existing technical education teachers in line with modern technologies, among others.



   Education is the totality of life experiences that people acquire, and which enables them to cope with and derive satisfaction from living in the world (UNESCO, 2008). This is because it enables people to achieve social competence and optimal development.

Education plays a dominant role in the development of any nation like Nigeria. The development of any nation can be achieved and sustained if every citizen contributes to the social and economic development of that country. For an individual to contribute to the development of any nation just like Nigeria, the individual must acquire knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes which are cardinal features of technical and vocational education.

     Technical and Vocational Education is a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begins with the exploration of career options, supports basic, academic, and life skills, and enable the achievement of high, academic standard, leadership, and preparation for industry (Career and Technical Education, 2009). It played a major role in promoting community and national development (Oguntituyi, 2013).

Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) has been an integral part of national development strategies in many countries because of its impact on production and economic development. It is unfortunate that a country like Nigeria does not seem to give technical and vocational education the attention it deserves. This paper focuses on technical and vocational education as a tool for productivity and sustainable development in Nigeria.

Technical Education is a specialized education designed to prepare so-called middle-level manpower. The middle manpower includes technicians, higher technicians, and technologists who are also referred to as sub-professionals. They are trained in polytechnics and monotechnics and awarded ND, HND, and Post-HND at the end of the training.

In the national policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria) cited by Ekpenyong (2011), defined technical education as that aspect of education that leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as scientific knowledge. This means that an individual is expected to acquire practical skills to be able to contribute meaningfully to the development of a nation.

Therefore, the aim of technical education is to provide trained manpower in applied science, technology, and commerce and also to provide technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agriculture, industrial, commercial, and economic development, among others. Vocational Education is a job-specific education designed to prepare individuals for entry into the job market as craftsmen and master-craftsmen as well as for higher education in technology in tertiary institutions.

These categories of skilled manpower are trained in technical colleges and vocational centers for the purpose of awarding various NABTEB certificates such as the NTC/NBC ANTC/ANTBC. To attain this level of education, an individual is expected to pass through vocational-level courses.

According to Ekpenyong (2011), vocational-level courses are defined as those courses in which the minimum entry requirement is below school certificates or GCE O/L or equivalent. The courses offered at the junior secondary school level are pre-vocational courses. Pre-vocational education is general vocational education offered in secondary schools for the purpose of inculcating technological literacy, and rudimentary technological aptitude, and enhancing capabilities for success in technological studies in higher education.

If the terms technical education, and vocational education are now fused,  Technical and Vocational Education can be defined in line with Olaitan cited by Ozoemena (2013), as a form of education that emphasizes the development of occupational skills needed for the preparation of work. It is a form of education that promotes the dignity of labor by entrenching work as the goal of education.

Technical and vocational education is also an aspect of education that prepares for industries, Agriculture, commerce, home economics, and technical education which is usually provided at the senior secondary school and tertiary level of education. This aspect of education emphasizes practical acquisition in all levels of education, formal and non-formal to make an individual fit and operate in any area of life.

In the formal setting, TVE can operate at the level of pre-vocational and vocational level, technical level, and tertiary levels. The structures of technical and vocational education under formal settings in the educational system according to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2013) in her National Policy on Education is explained as;

Pre-vocational level; this takes place at the junior secondary level. Pre-vocational elective includes; agriculture, business studies, home economics, local crafts, computer education, fine arts, and music. Except introductory Technology which is now Basic Technology is the core subject.

  1. ii. Vocational education elective; this occurs at the senior secondary level of education.

Vocational elective includes; agriculture, applied electricity, auto-mechanics, book-keeping and accounting, building construction, commerce, computer education, electronics, clothing and textiles, food and nutrition, home management, metalwork, technical drawing, woodwork, shorthand, typewriting, fine art and music.

iii. Technical education level;

This consists of general education, theory, and related courses, workshop practice, industrial training/production work, and small business management and entrepreneurial work.

It is structured under; mechanical, computer craft practice, building trades, Basic electricity, installation, wood trades, and business trades.

  1. Tertiary level; is given in; colleges of education, polytechnic, and universities.

Colleges of education courses in TVE are; agricultural science, technical education, business education, fine and applied arts, computer education, etc.

Polytechnics; maintains a two–tier programme of studies;  such as the  National Diploma (ND) and the Higher National Diploma (HND) with one year period of industrial experience.

National Diploma; the courses include agriculture, arts and design technology, business studies, environmental design, Banking and Finance, etc.

Higher National Diploma; the courses include Mathematics, English, Business Studies, Engineering, Accounting, and Arts and Design. 

University-level; technical and vocational education courses are offered in the following areas; industrial technical education, Business education (Accounting education and office technology management), home economics, and agricultural education.

The Objectives of Technical and Vocational Education

     National Policy on Education (2013), enumerated the basic objectives of technical and vocational education as follows;

  1. To provide trained manpower in the applied sciences, technology, and business, particularly at craft, advanced craft, and technical levels;
  2. To provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial, and economic development;
  • To give training and impart the necessary skills to individuals who shall be self-reliant economically.

Provision of trained manpower with technical knowledge and vocational skills aimed at making individuals be well armed with skills and knowledge to enable them to secure employment either by establishing a small-scale outfit or by being gainfully employed which will reduce poverty, unemployment, and income inequality, among others.

Training individuals vocationally or technically, would enable them to be self-reliant in different areas such as electrical, plumbing, automobile, vulcanizing, computer engineering, and so on. This will motivate individuals to work for a nation like Nigeria because it stimulates technological and industrial development through the production of competent and honest workers such as craftsmen, technicians, technologists, engineers, and other skilled personnel who are capable of utilizing the abundant natural and human resources available in a country for economic and industrial growth and national development. 

This shows that the trainees of Technical and Vocational Education must be given the training to make them not only the seekers of jobs but also the creation of jobs that will enhance productivity and sustain national development.

       Development may mean physical and mental development which includes the social and economic well-being of an individual as well as that of a given nation and the world at large. Development may also mean the development of infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, airport,s etc as well as the development of people in terms of education and health care, among others. Usoro, Akpan, and Otu (2010), defined development in terms of reduction in the level of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and income inequality.

Development is also seen as a purposeful change in a society that contributes to social and economic well-being and advancement of its people without creating any disharmony (UNESCO, 2009). Development is a dynamic process. It empowers people and promotes important changes in their lives. Economically, development brings about improvement in human welfare; quality of life, and social well-being. It is about satisfying the population’s needs and wants.

Development is measured using a range of economic indicators such as:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): This is the total value of goods and services, produced in a country (US$).
  • Gross National Product (GNP): Total value of goods and services produced in a country, including income from investment abroad (US$).
  • Purchase Power Parity: This takes into account the local cost of living and is usually expressed per capita (US $).

Apart from economic indicators, development must be measurable in terms of physical growth, socioeconomic improvement, and general enhancement of the quality of life. If quality of life is sustained, national development will be achieved which invariably enhances sustainability.

Sustainability can be defined as the practice of maintaining world processes of productivity indefinitely.

Brundland in Nevin (2008) defined Sustainable development as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. Meeting future generations’ needs will contribute to the well-being of any nation like Nigeria. According to Nwogu (2009), the well-being of any nation largely depends on its productivity and sustainable economic development.

The productivity and sustainable economic development of any nation like Nigeria as a developing nation is geared towards her Education. Education supplies the needed manpower for national development. Afolabi and Loto in Kingdom, Maekae, and Job (2013) support this by stating that a developed or educated polity is one that has enough manpower and each person occupies his or her rightful position to enhance the growth of the society.

To further support this, Ajayi and Afolabi in Kingdom, Maekae and Job (2013) also remarked that education is largely perceived in Nigeria as an indispensable tool that will not only assist in meeting the nation’s social, political, moral, cultural, and economic aspirations but will also inculcate in the individual knowledge, skills, dexterity, character, and desirable values that will foster national development and self-actualization. Education trains an individual to be useful in society and to meet the needs of society for national development.

Therefore, it should be clear that without education, a nation may not get the needed manpower for material advancement and enlightenment of the citizenry.

The trained engineers, technical educators, and craftsmen, among others, are all the products of education. This explains why it is argued also that the quality of a nation’s education determines the level of its national development. Good quality education is an essential tool for achieving more sustainable development (Nevin, 2008). 

Education for sustainable development promotes the development of the knowledge, skills, understanding, values, and actions required to create sustainable development. This is in line with Tuetue (2009) who cited the Centre for Global Development, which stated the functions of education for national development as;

  • Education gives people the skills they need to help themselves out of poverty and into prosperity;
  • With education, people are better prepared to prevent disease and to use health services effectively
  • In many poor countries, with each additional year of schooling, people earn 10% higher wages. These earnings, in turn, contribute to national development.
  • Education supports the growth of any society, democracy, and political stability, allowing people to learn about their rights and acquire the skills and knowledge to make them useful in their society.

Many developed countries like the U.S.A., and China, among others are investing heavily in the education of their citizens.  It is in line with this that the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) recognizes education as an instrument par excellence for national development.

Technical Vocational Educational Tool for Productivity and Sustainable Development

Productivity is defined as the ratio of output over inputs in production. It measures the efficiency of production. Productivity measures the economic growth of a country (Abdulrahama, 2013). The economic growth of a country cannot be achieved without growing the manpower productivity such as investment and saving in physical, capital, new technology, and human capital.

Higher productivity is a means to better levels of economic well-being and greater national strength. Technical and vocational education may be seen as a product of human resourcefulness which is a direct reflection of the quality of training and meaningful development in education in a given nation.

Agbionu (2004) argues that training and development of manpower to provide the skills that will enable the worker to work more efficiently is an important part of productivity improvement.

Agbionu further explained further that, whichever process a given nation adopts to develop its technology; the system of technical and vocational education provides the bedrock on which the activities of technology development have to be funded. This is because technical and vocational education plays a vital role in the national development.

These are some of the roles, technical and vocational education plays in national development.

  1. Providing manpower: TVE provides trained manpower in applied science, technology, and commerce, and also provides technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agriculture, industrial, commercial, and economic development, among others (Ekpenyong, 2011). This manpower contributes to the various sectors of the economy in the national development.

Development of manpower does not terminate with the production of a specified quality of manpower in any aspect of nation-building nor does manpower development necessarily commence at the tertiary institution level. Infarct, manpower development starts right from home before formal education is introduced to the child. One of the national objectives is to be a self-reliant country.

To achieve this objective the country has to train its citizens adequately to meet the challenges of the fast-changing industrial technology.

These challenges include inadequate manpower needed for technological development and economic growth of the country. In order to meet these challenges government has adopted some development programmes and policies such as Millennium Development Goal (MDGs), Universal Basic Education (UBE), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Supervised Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).

The National Policy on Education (2004) has placed great emphasis on Vocational and Technical Education as an important tool for the technological and industrial development of Nigeria.

For a meaningful development to be achieved, a country’s human resources must, among other things, be able to; Exploit and utilize the raw materials, power, labor, and financial resources available, Provide the framework for the country’s industrialization by determining, its methods, trends, scale and growth rate, Design, construct, operate, manage and maintain enterprises, Plan and implement workable development strategies for the nation.

Produce the majority of the goods needed by citizens of the country and at the same time generate enough output to ensure the economic independence of the nation, Explore and research into other natural resource potentialities of the country that could be tapped and utilized for economic development.

In order to meet the above requirements, the human resources of any country must be developed through various skill acquisition programs. Skills could be acquired through training, formal and informal education (apprenticeship). Skill acquisition through formal education may be obtained through vocational-technical education.

Vocational technical education is indeed, any form of education whose purpose is to prepare people for employment in an occupation or a group of occupations. As a matter of fact, Technical and Vocational education is aimed at developing not only practical skills but also a whole range of other skills like desirable work attitudes and habits that make the recipient a very creative and resourceful individual (Eze, 2010).

2. Creation of employment opportunities: The acquisition of skills which is one of the aims of TVE enables individuals to be self-employed and also gain employment in the government sector. Well-trained graduates of vocational education may also be employers of labor thereby creating more job opportunities. Nwanoruo and Opurum, Mfon and Omotosho,

Okteruolagbegi, in Ovbiagele, Abraham Otaigbe (2015) stated that vocational and technical education is a gateway to real growth and development of Nigeria as a nation through self-employed or gainful employment in the private/government parastatals. This means that, with the help of TVE growth and development of a given nation especially a developing nation like Nigeria is certainly visible.

3. Enhancing people’s standard of living/poverty reduction: if an individual is self-reliant or gainfully employed, the standard of living will be high invariably reducing poverty. The individual will have enough financial resources to settle all the necessary needs thereby reducing poverty and enhancing national development. This is in line with U. Usoro, Akpan, and Out (2010), who said that development is a reduction of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and income inequality.

4. Income and revenue generation: The surest way in which constant income and generation of revenue is when an individual is self-reliant and gainfully employed which are the pivotal aims of technical and vocational education. For instance, a self-employed technician can constantly get income through his manipulative skills acquired.

Vocational and technical education makes it possible for an individual to find employment or be self-employed. Okoro in Idialu, and Adavbiele, (2005) stated that work satisfies the need for income, activity, self-respect, for others, social contacts, and creativity. The purpose of vocational and technical education is not to reduce people’s need for work but to make work more pleasant and productive.

5. Nation, self-independence: For any nation to move forward, it must be technologically and industrially endowed which is the yearning of TVE. Agbobu in Idialu and Adavbiele, (2005) stated that Vocational and Technical education is designed to be functional, practical, and quantitative.

6.  Anything short of the above assertion will definitely jeopardize the economic and social development of the country. When there is low technology, it implies a low economy; low invention, and slow manufacturing of goods and services, national revenue will therefore be low. This will definitely lead to low development of a country; the overall effect of which will be poverty, and suffering by the masses.

To advert this, emphasizing vocational and technical education in any given nation even in elementary education is re-enforcing a technological foundation. Training for vocation is a lifelong process and must be made part of any developing country like Nigeria if the desired technological, social, and economic growth can be achieved to realize self-dependency.

The wealth of any nation determines, to a large extent, the development of the nation. A wealthy nation is that which is capable of meeting its economic, social, moral, and political obligations if the wealth is properly managed. To achieve this in any given nation, there must be knowledge, skills, values, and aptitudes which are vital attributes of vocational and technical education that influences, positively, the industrial and agricultural sectors of the economy.

Olaitan in Idialu and Adavbiele, (2005) stated clearly that, if vocational and technical education programmes are planned, implemented, monitored (through inspection and accreditation), and evaluated, it will have a major improvement on productivity and impact on the economy. This will enhance the independence of a given nation.



The surest way in which a nation like Nigeria can achieve development is education. This is done through Technical and vocational education which is saddled with the responsibility of providing trained manpower needed for national development in applied science, technology, and commerce, creation of employment opportunities through the skills acquired by the individual to be self-employed and gain employment in government sector thereby reducing poverty, among others.

To realize this, the government should stand tall to provide the necessary requirements that will enable TVE to realize its aims and objectives. Realizing the aims and objectives will enhance productivity and sustainable national development.


The following have been painstakingly recommended and will help to increase the capacity of technical and vocational education if implemented;

  1. Technical and vocational education should be embraced in totality in order to provide the needed trained manpower in a country like Nigeria.

2.  Technical and vocational education should be given the necessary attention it deserves to provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial, and economic development;

3.  In-service training should be given to the existing technical education teachers in line with the modern technologies to impart the necessary skills to individuals who shall be self-reliant economically.


Abdullahi, M.D. (1993). Technology and science education an overview.                                          Education Today Journal, 6(3), 22-30.

Abdulrahama, W. Lawal, (2013). Technical and vocational education; a
tool for National Development in Nigeria. Retrieved from

Aigbonu, E.O. (1994): The role of vocational education in National
Development. Journal of Technical Teacher Education, 1(2).

Amoor, S.S, (2008).The challenges of technical and vocational education
programmed in Nigerian Universities. Retrieved from

Career and Technical Education (CTE), (2009). Washington Office of
superintendent of public instruction. Retrieved from

Ekpenyong, L.E. (2008).Foundation of Technical and Vocational
Education: Evolution and practice, 3rd Edition. Benin-City: Supreme Idea Publisher International LTD.

Ekpenyong, L.E. (2011), Foundation of technical and vocational
education: Evolution and Practice, 1st impression. Benin-          City.AMBIKpress LTD.

Eze, T.I. (2010). Skill development in science and technology education for millennium development goals. A keynote address was presented at the 9th National Conference on Skill Development in Science and Technology Education for the Millennium Development Goals. Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.

Federal Republic of Nigeria, (2004).National Policy on Education. Lagos:
NERDC press.

Idialu, E.E & Adavbiele, J.A (2005).Foundation course in vocational and technical education. CENTRAL BOOKS LTD, Delta state.

Kingdom, E. Orji, Maekae & Job (2013), The role of education in national development: Nigerian Experience. European Scientific Journal Vol. (9), 315. Retrieved from

Nevin, E   (2008), Education and development; policy and practice: A Development Education Review, 6 (49-62).

Oguntuyi, A.N. (2013). A viable vocational technical education
curriculum: A tool for economic and Technology Development
scholarly journal of Education, 2(2), 22-26.

Okorie, J.U. (2001). Vocational and Industrial Education League of
researchers, in Nigeria, Owerri.

Olaitan, S.O. (1996). Vocational and technical education in Nigeria
(issues and Analysis). Noble Graphic Press, Onitsha.

Ovbiagele, Abraham Otaigbe (2015), Vocational Education for Socio-Economic and Technological Development of Nigeria.Global Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Science. Vol. 4(4): 15-18

Ozoemena, S.A. (2013). Vocational and technical education; a tool for
Sustainable Development in Nigeria, Journal of Education and
practice, 4(25).

Tuetue, M.E (2019), Role of business education in influencing national development in Nigeria. A seminal paper presented to the Department of Vocational and Technical Education, Faculty of Education, University of Benin, Benin City.

UNESCO, (2004).The challenges of globalization for the design of technical curriculum in developing countries. 1st Edition University of
Lagos Press, 217-237.

UNESCO,  (2009). Educational and national development in Nigeria, Retrieved from development-in-Nigeria.

Usoro, H.S, Usoro, E.B; Akpan, G.A. & Otu, E.S. (2010).Vocational
education as an instrument for achieving the seven-point agenda.
Multidisciplinary Journal of Academic Excellent, 3(2).Retrieved from

You may also like

Youth Development Programs and Initiatives in Nigeria

Ways to Make Money Online in Nigeria as a Student

Faster Steps to Processing Nigeria Passport

Top Ranking Tips for Professional SEO in 2023/2024

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Evaluation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *