• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Stakeholders point way forward for education sector in 2021

How inflation, forex, fees hike battered education in 2023

It is a known fact that education is more than just getting a degree from an institution of higher learning. In actual fact, education to a lot of forward-looking countries is as important as life, so they ensure that they give it all the attention it requires through the empowerment of the sector that in turn results in a well-rounded educational sector.

No matter how plausible this idea may sound, it is, however, sad to note that in Nigeria the case is different as education experts are of the opinion that the unsustainable nature of education policies by the government no doubt has contributed to the decline witnessed in the number of skilled graduates that most higher institutions across the country produce.

Experts are of the view that if nothing urgent is done to address this issue a sizeable number of new graduates from Nigeria’s tertiary institutions are likely to face challenges in gaining immediate employment.

On the average yearly, the nation tertiary institutions graduate over 200, 000 students in diverse disciplines, who join a retinue of already saturated unemployment market in search of almost non-existing white-collar jobs. A situation not a few concern industry experts see as a threat to the future of this country.

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They argue that it is necessary to integrate entrepreneurial education in its entirety across tertiary institutions in the country, as according to them, this will boost the growth and development of the nation’s economy thereby narrowing the gap existing in the knowledge chain in the citadels of learning.

Adedayo Olugbenga, a consultant and entrepreneur, affirms that the sole aim of setting up most educational institutions should be to help develop entrepreneurs of which recent graduates are among. But he is disappointed that the lack of genuine experience in business practice by graduates has greatly impacted on graduate employment in the country.

According to him, “it is quite unfortunate that the majority of university graduates that want to open and operate their own businesses know little or nothing about managing a business. It is not entirely their fault because most institutes of higher learning in Nigeria train their students to seek paid employment after graduation, rather than be self-employed.”

Olugbenga further observes that currently the focus and process of education in Nigerian schools, most especially in the tertiary institutions, is too mechanistic because teachers and lecturers alike make use of the old lecture method that does not promote or encourage entrepreneurial behaviour.

Anthony Ezekiel, an education psychologist on his part, discloses that the key issues regarding the teaching of entrepreneurship in higher education rest squarely on existing obstacles and indecision on the part of different levels of responsibility, like public policy, institutions, educators and relevant stakeholders.

Ezekiel notes that the teaching of entrepreneurship has yet to be sufficiently integrated into university curricula, adding that it is necessary to make entrepreneurship education accessible to all students as innovative business ideas may arise from technical, scientific or creative studies.

The education psychology points out that the sector has to wake up to make entrepreneurs out of the system because the primary purpose of entrepreneurship education in schools is to develop entrepreneurial capacities and mindsets.

“Today, more than ever before in human history, the wealth or poverty of nations depends on the quality of higher education. Those with a repertoire of skills and a greater capacity for learning can look forward to lifetimes of unprecedented economic fulfilment,” Ezekiel notes further. He further adds that entrepreneurial skills and attitudes when incorporated into the system provide benefits to society, even beyond their application to business activities.