By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Women in Technical Education and Employment (WITED) in Nigeria have enjoined Rectors of Polytechnics across the country to continue to give all the necessary support to facilitate the actualisation of the lofty WITED projects and activities not only in the Kwara state Polytechnic but also Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Making the appeal in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Wednesday at the opening of the quarterly meeting of the National Coordinating Committee of WITED, WITED National Coordinator, Princess Regina Elechi Madi, said WITED came into being in 1988 with a mandate to identify and tackle the “undesirable exceedingly low participation of female gender in science, engineering, technical and vocational education at all levels.”
She acknowledged the tremendous support WITED was receiving from the Rector of the Kwara state Polytechnic, Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu, while also commending the Kwara state Coordinator of WITED, Mrs. Adijat Bukola Aiyelabegan, and her team in the state polytechnic for their sense of devotion and commitment “to live up to live up to our mission statement which is creativity with a feminine touch” adding “you all have proved that you are women of sterling qualities, who are proving their mantle and delivering on their mandate.”
In her welcome address, Kwaea state WITED Coordinator, Mrs. Adijat Bukola Aiyelabegan, disclosed that WITED has justified her establishment, saying”here in Nigeria, the Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology since its inauguration in 1977 has collaborated with and has tremendously been of assistance to WITED to tackle and enhance the noble goals of WITED.”
She said: “Our usual schedule of WITED activities includes: Mentoring and advocacy in primary and secondary schools for female children who have the flair for science, technical and vocational subjects, entrepreneurial skill acquisition and training programmes, for staff and the youths.”
In his remarks, Rector of the Kwara state polytechnic, Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu, noted that there is still much left to be done to ensure that females in the country acquire the relevant skills so as not to be relegated to the background.
Acknowledging that females generally are very skilful, Elelu admonished them to avail themselves of the skills competition that will soon come up in the country, noting that there can’t be a strong economy without a strong skilled workforce.
Commissioner for Tertiary Education in Kwara state, Alhaji Abdullahi Alkinla, eulogised the Kwara state Polytechnic Rector, Mas’ud Elelu for stabilising education in the polytechnic, without any students’ unrest and strike.
He noted that women are mothers of the nation, saying”you undermine their power and abilities at your own peril.”