NBTE introduces mandatory skills qualification for polytechnic students

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The National Board for Technical Education has introduced a Mandatory Skills Qualification as a graduation requirement for all newly reviewed National Diploma and Higher National Diploma curricula.

The board said the introduction is in line with global trends, especially as skill acquisition is now central to the training of youths in polytechnics.

This was disclosed in a statement by the board’s Head of Media, Hajiya Fatimah Abubakar, on Monday in Abuja.

Abubakar said diploma holders would now graduate with a National Skills Qualification or its equivalent, as an additional certification.

She said the MSQ is now a requirement for all diploma programmes and must be attained before graduation.

She also noted that the NSQ was a certification system designed to assess and recognise the skills and competencies of individuals in various fields.

“It focuses on vocational skills and is typically obtained through vocational training programmes, apprenticeships, and assessments conducted by approved skill assessment bodies.

“NSQ aims to bridge the gap between formal education and industry needs by providing individuals with practical skills relevant to the job market.

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“The dual certification of obtaining both an NSQ and an ND in Nigeria offers several benefits, including a comprehensive skill set, increased employability, versatility, professional recognition, and career progression,” she said.

The NBTE head of media further said that the dual certification opens doors to career advancement opportunities as well as provides a strong foundation for upward mobility and career growth.

”The dual certification offers a competitive edge in the job market, enhances career prospects, and equips individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in their chosen fields.

”This dual certification is expected to significantly enhance employability. However, NBTE is aware of the limited skills training facilities in our polytechnics and is therefore allowing a phased introduction.

”The guideline provides polytechnic administrators with methods for implementing this new provision. Quality assurance is crucial in ensuring the effectiveness and relevance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes”, she noted.

She added that assessors would play a vital role in this process, through evaluating the quality of education and training provided in various technical and vocational fields.

she said their role will include assessing standards, learning outcomes, and the overall performance of Skills Development Centres in polytechnics and other TVET institutions.

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“Under the MSQ, HND level students who have acquired NSQ at the ND level can enrol in Quality Assurance Assessor (QAA) training as an alternative to another NSQ.

“The QAA certificate will be valuable in the workplace, as many industries require on-the-job training,” she said.

She noted that several challenges, including skill shortages, a mismatch between industry needs and training, and a lack of synergy between industry, government agencies, and TVET institutions characterised Nigeria’s technical manpower situation.


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