FSEC Ijanikin to train laboratory technicians

The Federal Science Equipment Centre, Ijanikin, Lagos is being repositioned to provide In-Service Training Course for Laboratory Assistants and Technicians in Post Primary institutions with a view to enhancing their skills in repair, care and maintenance of school science equipment. To this end, a Multi-purpose building block and a 300 KVA transformer have been commissioned to boost the Centre’s operation.

Speaking while commissioning the projects, as well as at the 3rd Graduation ceremony of 2012 set of the In-Service Training Course,  on behalf of the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, on May 31, 2014 in Lagos, Engr. Michael Kalu Ofor, Director, Technology and Science Education Department, said that the reactivation of the Centre is in line with the present administration’s commitment to promote Technical and Science Education, seen as critical factor in the attainment of national development.
He said that the National Technical Certificate (Laboratory Instrument Works) that the Laboratory Technicians/Assistants would be awarded at the end of their training will enhance their career progression. This is even as he noted that the absence of career progression has led to dearth of Laboratory Technicians/Assistants in Secondary Schools across the country.

He said that the government will soon furnish science laboratories of Federal Colleges and workshops of Federal Science and Technical Colleges, and urged the Centre to interface with them for the maintenance and repair of the science equipment in the colleges.
In a welcome address, Mr. Ifedigbo N. Sylva, Director, Federal Science Equipment Centre, FSEC, said that the Centre started in 1971 to address the challenges of Science , Technology and Mathematics education on a tripartite agreement involving Federal Ministry of Education, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme. However, he said, the International Development Partners pulled out in 1984, which created some funding challenges for the Centre.
Nevertheless, he said that the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief (Barr.) Ezenwo N Wike, has taken some steps to surmount the challenges, “thus placing the Centre at almost its original status.”

Mr. Ifedigbo said that the NTC Course is a new and peculiar course designed by the National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB)  for the Centre. He said the course is a three year in-service course of twelve weeks each year and it creates a career for science laboratory assistants in secondary schools.
He disclosed that out of the twenty-five candidates that started in the 2012 set, only ten are graduating, adding that the challenge of the drop-outs was purely on sponsorship.

The Director said that during the course of study, the students fabricated some school science equipment, using locally sourced materials. “Today some of these equipment domesticated are to be distributed to some selected lucky Federal Unity Colleges from South West zone,”  he said. The Colleges are Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos; Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Ogun State;   Federal Government Girls’ College, Ipetumodu, Osun State; Federal Science and Technical College, Usi Ekiti, Ekiti State and Federal Science and Technical College, Ikare Akoko, Ondo State.

In a goodwill message, the representative of the Registrar, National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Mr. Alademerin Henry said that the Board has given approval to FSEC to run the course leading to the award of National Technical Certificate (Laboratory Instrument Works).    He said the Centre is the only institution so recognised to run such course by the Board.
He commended the management staff of the Centre for putting in place the necessary infrastructure that would enable the centre to be accredited.