IIT, a Vocational Training School, Lagos, Nigeria
The Institute for Industrial Technology (IIT) in Nigeria provides technical expertise to young people who have difficulty obtaining an education. The IIT, which was established in 2002 for the centennial of St. Josemaría’s birth, offers high quality technical training through the dual vocational training system (alternating classroom work with working for a company). The Institute also seeks to strengthen human virtues and values, the foundation for the integral development of the person.
On July 25, 2018, IIT received the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, during his pastoral visit to the country. Msgr. Ocáriz toured the school’s facilities and spoke with some of the students. Olumide Akinjo, director of the Institute, told the Prelate that the education offered includes important topics such as work ethics, marriage and family life. The Prelate encouraged those in charge to foster among the students a concern for the common good, which will have a big impact on their respective communities. “Besides acquiring technical skills, students also need to acquire human values,” he said.
In 2006, IIT became a full-fledged Vocational Training Center. To date, 14 classes of students have graduated in the three specialties offered: mechatronic engineering, electrical engineering and electro-technology. Over 30 companies collaborate with the Institute and more than 2,500 students have received training at IIT over the years. Seventy-five percent of them found employment in less than three months. Thanks to its system of scholarships, the courses are accessible to low-income families. IIT also offers retraining and skills improvement courses for industrial employees, with the aim of increasing the productivity and service capacity of their companies. In May 2017, IIT received the award for Most Innovative in Education in Nigeria from the West African newspaperBusiness Day. Its Seeds of Hope program provides skilled labor for businesses and has been a boon for the local economy.
Romana, n. 67, July-December 2018, p. 309.