The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had at its meeting of Wednesday April 10, 2013 approved a Six-Level National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) for the country. In her briefing at the end of the meeting, the Honourable Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i explained that the framework as approved by the Federal Executive Council would recognize and certify skills and vocations outside the school system and place same in the scheme of service.
“What this means is that Nigeria, for the first time, recognizes that skills development can be done within or outside the school system and there are six areas that are being developed in terms of coming from the lowest level to the highest level”, the minister explained.
National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) by President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria
In meeting the skill needs of teeming youths and to address the ever-rising challenges of unemployment and under-employment, governments in many countries have been compelled to strengthen the link between vocational training institutions and the work place. This in most cases takes the form of closely involving the industry in developing occupational standards and work-based verification and continuous assessment of trainees and this is part of what we are about to witness today. In this way, it makes vocational skills qualifications more qualitative and relevant to the needs of the society.
In this way, they make vocational skills qualifications more qualitative and relevant to the needs of the society. This process of bridging the gap between training and industry takes a formal structure through the establishment of some kind of qualifications framework
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), which has taken a great deal of interest in this world wide phenomenon, a qualifications framework is intended to improve understanding of qualifications in terms of information they convey to an employer about prospective a worker’s competencies. Frameworks are also intended to explain how qualifications relate to each other and thus can be combined to build pathways within and across occupations in the education and training sectors.
Importance of National Vocational Qualifications in Development of Skills
The National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) is a system for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies acquired by individuals, irrespective of where and how the training or skill was acquired. The system gives a clear statement of what the learner must know or be able to do whether the learning took place in a classroom, on the job, or less formally. The framework indicates the comparability of different qualifications and how one can progress from one level to another.
The concept of NVQ scheme, as currently popularised around the world, initially started in the UK in 1986. It has now spread widely to other countries, including: New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Caribbean Islands, etc. At the moment, several African countries, including Ghana, Gambia, Mauritius, and Botswana, are also attempting to introduce it. A recent ILO survey indicates that over 70 countries are in the process of developing or implementing some kind of qualifications framework, either specifically for vocational skills training or for the entire education system. Apart from national systems, regional qualification frameworks have also emerged. Thus, we have European Qualifications Framework (EQF), Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ), and there are plans for regional qualifications for the various African countries.