Unemployment is no longer strange to anyone in Nigeria. It seems every graduate now has the mindset of finding a job after graduation. You wouldn’t blame anyone with such a mindset. We were taught to study hard and pass so we can become a hot cake in the society.
Perhaps, employers will come begging us for jobs especially if we made First Class. That’s the greatest lie everyone has been told in school. I won’t blame our lecturers, they got jobs that way.
My mom told me she got a government job with her O’Level result – as at then, it was called Standard Six.
Today, it takes the grace of God to even get a job-invite let alone land a job irrespective of your certificate and the grades.
Who do we blame for this?
Many point to the top – our leaders. Everything starts at the top. Yes, I agree. But we can’t continue to play the blame game. Let’s break out.
Blame games never helped anyone. It would only add more pains. I’d suggest we bridge the graduates-unemployment gap.
Bridging the gap of graduate-unemployment is so critical in Africa today, as Adeleke Lekan rightly posited in his article – ”many of our graduates today end up doing something different from what they spent money to study in the university”. This is a point that cannot be contested. You don’t blame them either because our schools, both secondary and universities, have failed us. They have trained graduates that way. They have narrowed their mindset to only focus on earning a living from what they wasted money and time to learn in universities – certificates.
Being a graduate today isn’t a guarantee to earn a living which is the essence of our life. Having an education is good, but knowing how to survive surpasses education and it’s called WISDOM. Wisdom is not taught in any institution today. Institutions can only teach you 1+1 = 2, but will never teach you how 1+1 = 2, will put food on your table. Shame!!!
What do we do in a situation like this?
Shayo Imologome suggested Educational Restructure is the way forward.
”I think we need to restructure the educational system. Education is important, everyone needs a strong foundation to set them off in life. At JSS 3, I think students are required to do a variety of subjects with the hope that they will be able to explore and find what their passion or interests are. By SS1, they choose the line they want to go, whether art, commercial or science. That for me is the critical point. Many students get it wrong at that point and it is often downhill from there. I think our system should be designed to help young people discover themselves better.” – Shayo Imologome.
”Parents also have a role to play. For those of us in the older generation, our parents were concerned that we follow certain paths so that we could succeed. They all wanted us to be doctors, lawyers, engineers or accountants, etc. But now, we all know better. We shouldn’t force our children in any direction, but rather encourage them to explore and discover their talents and passion.”
Total overhaul of our educational system and implementing entrepreneurship studies will help our graduates to develop an entrepreneurship mindset. We need to make the entire system more practical, introduce entrepreneurial studies at a much earlier stage, etc; but education must continue, not going to school at all is definitely not an option. Of course, no one can stop education. Not even the government.
The issue is – we should not only be building graduates, but we should also build graduates that will depend on skills and inbuilt abilities. Certificates will only be a compliment.
Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe is a great example of an educated entrepreneur. The Founder of Tekedia is not only educated but he is making education work for him. The results are there for everyone to see.
To attain this level in Nigeria, our educational system will have to be reformed. It makes no sense when a computer science graduate can’t operate a computer. He’s never been to a computer lab. Yes, you will be surprised that some institutions don’t have a laboratory. Everything being taught are mere theories. You can imagine the type of graduates such institutions would produce – dependent graduate.
This is a rallying cry to government and influential people in the country. Help restructure our educational system.