• Friday, July 19, 2024
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‘Developing the ‘I Can’ mentality as catalyst for youth employability’


Having a positive mindset, built on the “I Can” mentality can be the catalyst for changing Nigeria’s employability narrative. This is so because experts in the Nigerian educational sector believe that having a ‘Can Do’ mindset help in preparing the youth ahead of challenges, especially environmental.

Ekene Agomuo, convener of a recent youth summit themed, ‘I Can’ held in Lagos, and a gospel singer, said God has endowed every individual with a unique talent.

“There is nobody God has not given a talent but most of the time we do not discover these things; so, this is what this programme is meant for,” Ekene said, explaining that the summit is to help the youth discover their unique potential.

“I think the young ones in the country are not really getting it; so, we should get up and do something,” she said.

Nigeria is challenged in so many fronts but the most dangerous of these challenges has been the inability of a vast majority of the populace to be economically relevant. Agomuo opined that talents and skills abound in Nigeria; with a strong population made up of 65 percent young and able people, Nigeria should be a bustling beehive of thriving businesses and innovations.

There is currently a growing need to make young Nigerians understand that entrepreneurs are key drivers of any sustainable economy. Entrepreneurs are the pillars that support the long term goals of individuals, families and nations. Therefore, it is important to emphasise the importance of evolving a homegrown solution to Nigeria’s growing inequality and youth restiveness.

Furthermore, Agomuo opined that getting the youth prepared for the job of the future entails that young Nigerians get meaningful skills that position them ahead of the job place. “Any opportunity you can get should be utilised successfully,” stating that, “people must learn to start small.”

According to her, the summit is a soul-searching gathering that allows for every individual to be truthful to his or herself based on the theme, ‘I Can’. “It does not matter if you are an adult or youth, we just want to assure you that you can start something to help yourself.

“Many of us are so discouraged, maybe, because of the happenings in the country and we feel we are going to be useless; but, we are not useless. So, it is to tell the youth that instead of killing yourself, suicide is not the option because you can do something: you mustn’t start big; look inward, there is something unique about yourself,” she concludes.

Peter Adekoya, an educational counselor and career coach, said Nigerian youths must believe in themselves with the notion that nobody owes them anything. According to him, doing away with that sense of entitlement will help position the mind for achievement that will help the youth prove that they can.

“They have been spoon-fed, and many of them have the wrong impression that everything should come to them easily. But, it is not like that. As a youth, you need to learn something outside your BSc or professional training that will prepare you ahead of the job. Until we realise the need to go back to technical education, vocational skills, there will still be crisis of youth unemployment in Nigeria,” Adekoya said.

Mary Ugwuanyi, a retired school principal, said Nigerian education sector needs a complete overhaul, especially basic education. According to her, teachers in the sector no longer understand the psychology of the students because of several environmental issues that do not allow for bonding between the teachers and their students.

“They do not study the children to know what they want and what they will be in the future, because teaching involves educating a child to have the overall knowledge of his/her world. Focus must not only be on one aspect of knowledge; it must be knowledge in everything and about everything,” Ugwuanyi said.

Advising the youth at the programme, Pastors Adeayo Akinwande and Oyindamola Omisakin, noted that meaningful success is the one that comes from God. They urged the youth to “always put God first in whatever they do in life”, emphasising that “trust in man or ability would always fail.”