MIHOMEE gets approval from NBTE

By Alphonsus Ogili

Due to lack of capacity for higher institutions to accommodate the multitude of secondary school graduates and the low participation of the private sector in skills acquisition and training, the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) decided to approve the establishment of the private sector-led Vocational Enterprise Institutions (VEIs) and Innovative Enterprise Institutions (IEIs) in order to widen access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Nigeria. In view of the above, the entire Catholic Church in Nsukka Diocese is in joyful mood with a deep sense of thanksgiving to God for a dream come true as the diocesan catering school, the Mario Institute of Hospitality Management and Entrepreneurship Education, (MIHOMEE) Uhunowerre in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area, Enugu State, has finally received approval from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Kaduna to operate as an Innovation Enterprise Institution (IEI).

According to a statement contained in the board's approval letter from the office of the Executive Secretary, the Mario Institute of Hospitality Management and Entrepreneurship Education, (MIHOMEE), has officially been elevated to commence operation as an Innovation Enterprise Institution (IEI) which means that henceforth, graduates of the institution would be awarded National Innovative Diplomas (NID) and National Vocation Certificates (NVC) on successful completion of studies.

The approved programmes of study as contained in the approval letter include National Innovative Diploma (NID) in Cosmetology and Beauty Therapy, National Innovative Diploma (NID) in Networking and System Security and National Vocation Certificate (NVC) in Hospitality and Tourism Studies. The approval came after a thorough inspection jointly carried out by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the National Board for Technical Education, (NBTE) Kaduna. The director and founder of the institution, Rev. Fr. Cornelius Obe happily remarked that the management of the school received the approval report with gratitude to God while awaiting other approvals. He commended the NBTE for their support in the drive to make MIHOMEE one of the leading institutions in youth empowerment in Nigeria and Africa at large, adding that the institutionís management would ensure that it sustained the standards of the approved programmes and introduce new ones for their teeming youths to apply for.

Fr. Cornelius encouraged students of the institute to take their studies serious and take full advantage of the opportunity in order to escape the problem of unemployment, which is on a high increase in the country, urging them to put in their best in their various skills acquisition that would enable them become vibrant entrepreneurs upon graduation from the school.

The director maintained that with the approval of the aforementioned programmes of study by the NBTE, the horizon has become very clear for youths who wish to be useful and are interested in combining their brains with their hands to make a living. Answering questions from journalists, the director who has equally lectured in the Good Shepherd Seminary, Nsukka for some years said the school was founded in 2011 as St Mary's Catherine School, Uhunowerre with the permission of the Bishop Emeritus, Most Rev. Dr. Francis Ogbonnaya Okobo. Speaking on the inspiration to establish the school, he said it was the passion to help young people become useful and self-reliant at a time when unemployment is luring hundreds of youths into criminal activities, reiterating his total commitment to take the school to greater heights. On a very joyful note, some students of the institute who spoke with our reporters described the institution and its activities as "a well of salvation" established by God to enable his children draw everlasting water from it, expressing gratitude to God that the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka is very much determined in promoting education for self-reliance through Fr. Cornelius Obe.

As an institute committed to youth empowerment initiatives, MIHOMEE have undoubtedly recorded numerous landmark achievements and have received many honourary awards in this regard. With the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah as the proprietor and spiritual leader of the school, there is no doubt that MIHOMEE will certainly attain an enviable status.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the assessment of Rev. Fr. Cornelius Obe's few years in office as the director is positive and encouraging for all to emulate. It is therefore, the responsibility of all and sundry to continue to support his administration for him to do more in the coming years. As a principal organ of the Federal Ministry of Education, the NBTE belives in the saying that an idle brain is the devil's workshop and as a result is determined to become a world class regulatory body saddled with the responsibility of promoting Technical and Vocational Education and training in Nigeria with the mission of facilitating skilled technical and professional manpower for the development and sustenance of the national economy.

Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs) are institutions recently approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide a veritable alternative route to higher education. They are a product of the recent reform initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) in the education sector of the country made up of institutions that offer vocational, technical, technological or professional education and training at tertiary levels to equip secondary school leavers and working adults with vocational skills and knowledge to meet the increasing demand for technical manpower by the various sectors of the nation's economy.

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