By Joseph Milton Lebbie.
Sierra Leone Technical and Vocational (Tec-Voc) education seems to have gone into coma as many technical and vocational institutions in the country have gone defunct possibly due to lack of government support.
In Moyamba Town, the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded the construction of the Moyamba Vocational Institute, MTVI, which has never been constructed years ago, a situation that has become a cause for concern of authorities in the township.
In an interview with Global Times, a Civil Society Activist, Gerald Foday, raised concern over the fact that with all the money ADB expended on the construction of MTVI, the institution has never served its purpose, much to the disadvantage of the much-needed middle level manpower training in Moyamba Town and the district in general.
Foday described the non-functioning of the MTVI as tantamount to gross waste of donor funds and a glaring manifestation of nonchalance on the part of the Education Ministry.
The Civil Society Activist noted that technical and vocational education is very crucial to the development of any nation and, therefore, called on the Education Ministry to try to operationalize the institution to enhance middle manpower training in Moyamba District.
When contacted, the Deputy Director of Education, Moyamba, Claudius Wilson, in an interview, agreed that the MTVI has never been functional since he took office in Moyamba but said he could not give any reason why the institution continues to be a white elephant, not serving the purpose for which it was built.
Director Wilson stated that his superiors in Freetown are in the best position to explain why the MTVI has never been utilized to benefit the people of Moyamba.
Wilson noted that many other technical and vocational institutions across the country have gone defunct for reasons best known to the higher authorities.
Technical and vocational education gained momentum in the country during the regime of late former President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah when Dr. Alpha Wurie was Education Minister.
Series of technical and vocational institutions were established right across the country and were well supported with regular subvention from government.
But under the regime of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma with Dr. Minkailu Bah as Education Minister, many heads of tech-vocs have been complaining, that they have not been receiving subvention from government for years now, a situation that may be the main cause for the non functioning of the much needed tech-vocs.