The Akwa Ibom Government has commenced training of technical group and council members on human capital development.
The training is aimed at addressing poverty and other socioeconomic issues to spur sustainable growth and improve life expectancy in the state.
In his opening remarks, the State Focal Person, Mr Uduak Isaac, said the state government would continue to invest in the three thematic areas of human capital development.
Isaac said the state government must improve its investment in the three thematic areas of health and nutrition, education and labour force participation.
Also speaking, Dr Olusoji Adeniyi, South South Regional Consultant, Human Capital Development Programme, urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) involved in human capital development to take it very serious.
Adeniyi said human capital development had been neglected over the years due to poor understanding, noting that human capital development was not human capacity development.
He said: “That misconception is what we need to clear. Human capacity development is a component of human capital development.
“Human capital development has three major pillars as enumerated by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank, which include: health and nutrition, education, as well as labour force participation.”
Adeniyi added that the world no longer wanted to measure development by Gross Domestic Products (GDP) but rather wanted to see real development.
He said that there must be real development on the lifestyle of the people, on longevity in terms of extended lifespan of citizens.
“It is also the concept around that a child is born today has a good chance of survival in tne infancy from zero to five and not dying from childhood diseases.
“As the child is growing up, the nutritional status of the child is also very important such that the child develops all his mental capacity to be able to read and study in school
“And when he gets to tertiary institutions because the nutritional value is balanced, the child is able to perform creditably well and the quality of output when he gets to the labour force will be much better,” he said.
“These kind of children will become good citizens of the country because they had good nutrition from infancy and good education and training.
“The longevity of life is almost guaranteed because health, nutrition and capacity building of the child have been taken care of,” he added.
According to him, human capital development also involves improved teaching and learning, especially for basic education, to enhance the quality of citizens.
He further said that it was not only the quality of the learning environment that was important but the quality of teachers and learning outcome.
Adeniyi stressed the need for government to recruit more teachers to improve on the teacher-pupils ratio in line with international standard.
“In schools, we need to have good teachers, so that is not only the quality of learning environment that is important, while that is important, the quality of teachers and learning outcome is also very important
“We need to get more teachers into public schools, so that teacher-pupils ratio is reduced and children can learn more.
“As the children grow on to the level of work, we need to provide opportunities for them to work by building entreprise that they can work in and that would change the narratives,” he said.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) one of the participants, Prof. Comfort Ekpo, said good nutrition was essential for a child’s mental development.
Ekpo, who is a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, charged parents to bring up children they could cater for to enhance their mental development.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria