Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Uyo, Akwa Ibom State is the winner of the 2017 annual national students’ vocational skills competition for Federal Science and Technical Colleges (FSTCs)
The school beat 21 others that participated in the contest.
Their multi-purpose collapsible chair earned them the first position. FSTC Usi-Ekiti is first runner-up, with the invention of a present-absent door bell indicator, while FSTC Jalingo is 2nd runner-up with its mechanical corn thresher.
The competition organized by the Department of Science and Technical Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, had the theme of “Hands-on Learning”.
The objective was to, identify the innovative abilities and skills of the students in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who sent a representative to the finals held at FSTC Orozo, Abuja, commended the finalists for their creative ideas and inventions that qualified them through the stages that culminated in the finals.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sonny Echono, the minister decried Nigeria’s missed opportunities at innovations, especially in the education sector, assuring the students that they are all winners irrespective of the school that took the trophy.
He said: “We missed that great opportunity to continue the development of solar energized products in our technical institutions, by now, we should have been exporting solar products instead of spending millions of dollars to import solar panels and generators.”
Meanwhile, the acting principal of FSTC, Orozo, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf, commended the organizers for the opportunity to host the event. He used the opportunity to explain the college’s achievements as well as challenges particularly the invasion of the school by Fulani herdsmen for grazing.
Some of the works exhibited by different schools include sweeping and sprinkling machine for sweeping roads; production of a chandelier made from disposable plastics; absent/present door bell indicator with a lighting system incorporated in it, and invention of an electrical and mechanical operated corn thresher.
Other items exhibited were crochet/embroidery works, detergents and collapsible 4-in-1 chair, reading table, locker and adjustable sit; solar powered charcoal stove; fragrances, detergents, liquid soaps, antiseptics and water distiller.
A retired director of the science and technical department, Mike Ofor, who conceived the competition while in office, was happy to witness the fourth edition of the competition which started in 2013.
He charged the students to “think out of the box” in solving emerging challenges, citing Chinese students whose works have been commercialised.
Director of science and technical education, Mrs. Tina Eyaru, announced prizes of cash, laptops for the winners and consolation prizes for other participants, even Coscharis technologies undertook to license the laptops with solid works.