Despite parading a diverse mix of talented youths, Nigeria still grapples with the hydra-headed monster of inadequate management, entrepreneurial and technical skills that will set the stage for tomorrow’s leaders.
Today, latent but unmarketable skills have left many youths unemployed; while some of their underemployed counterparts have become square pegs in round holes. Experts foresee that in the long run, this state of affairs will have dire implications for Nigeria, which needs a pool of confident graduates with the entrepreneurial skills to make ends meet in the event that employment is not immediately available.
Worried by this development, concern stakeholders in both the public and private sector have called for manager of the economy to move away from mere political rhetoric and invest in measures that would develop budding creative talent, identify best practices in skills and education.
We need a broad, flexible and motivating education that recognises the different talents of all children and delivers excellence for everyone says Steve Mofitt, CEO, New Direction, London.
According to him, “If we are to prepare adequately for the 21st century, we will have to do more than just improve literacy and numeracy skills,
Mofitt, while commenting on the 21st century curriculum that will be more economically rewarding, recommended the rebalancing of school policies from ‘academic discipline’ to a much stronger emphasis on creativity and skills development.
“Soft employability skills such as team work, problem solving and self-management are vital across job roles. Employability is not a separate subject, but a combination of skills that can be embedded within other curriculum lessons,” he said.
Education experts insist that new strategises need to be put in place by the Nigerian government towards revamping the educational institutions in the country.
Analysts observe that management at the various levels of education needs to appreciate the impact of a functional and innovative academic system to national development.
Isaac Adeyemi, a university professor maintains that there should be constant review and development of curriculum to ensure that they are relevant to development of enlightened individuals and productive nation.
Adeyemi noted that as a developing country, there is need to strategically decide on the knowledge, skills and competencies the country requires to actualise all the visions about greatness it so desires.
According to him, “Government should have a very strong regulatory arm to monitor the quality of education at the various levels.”
The university don, while highlighting the importance of funding to the overall growth and development of a vital sector like education in the country, said funding should be expanded, stressing that the federal and state governments should monitor to ensure that the budgetary allocation voted for education are actually spent on the sector.
He encouraged those in government to seek ways to fix their dwindling revenues, adding that government needs to find ways to engage the private sector in education funding.
There is the need to establish a platform for educators to build new and innovative directions for educational practice by focusing on partnerships in educating the Nigerian child, setting the pace for change in methodology, transforming the nation’s schools and equipping the schools to sustain change.
He further reiterated the importance of government fashioning out a carrot and stick approach to get parents to actually send their children to school.
“We need to bring about transformation, restore education in Nigeria to its former glory and raise the bar beyond what it used to be so that it can be up to what we have globally,” he said.