• Thursday, July 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

‘Curriculum review, solution to graduate unemployment’

businessday-icon

In line with trends in global circles where corporate organisations identify undergraduates with requisite skills that match their goals, not a few experts assert that a curriculum change has become necessary in the nation’s educational system.

In the developed world, tertiary institutions are identified as centres for societal development. This is because ideally, their syllabi tie in with what employers of labour seek, and they constantly provide avenues for students to develop their latent skills so as to measure up to current demands by both the public and private sectors.

In recognition of this fact, experts from both the public and private sectors have urged both government and policymakers to restructure the curriculum at all levels of education (with emphasis on tertiary institutions), so that the nation’s graduates can hold their own wherever they find themselves, and most importantly, secure employment without hassle. 

Sandy Ojikutu, team leader on education for a US-based organisation, notes that a curriculum is the vehicle through which knowledge is transmitted, and advised that policymakers should therefore make every effort to draw up a practicable curriculum. This, she projected, will in the long run provide educational, cultural and intellectual enrichment which comes with social benefits, development and progress.

“There is a need to work on how students are taught, there is a science of learning, and universities should bring it to bear on the way students are instructed. Also, university faculties need to be helped in their research and development, so they can be as current as possible,” she stated.

Like her, Ike Ehie, project director, Kansas State University, noted that if Nigerian graduates are to compete favourably on a global scale, there is the urgent need for those at the helm to structure a curriculum that includes cutting-edge content which can produce excellence in information technology.

In his words: “Introduction of a practicable business management education must foster an uncompromising standard of personal and ethical behaviour in students, who would lead the nation’s future workforce.”

Ehie precisely noted that the main criterion by which products from universities around the world are assessed is through the relevance of their curriculum to the goals of corporate organisations that would engage their services in the long run. To him, this is not a management system that is practicable within a sustainable business agenda, but a way of meeting corporate business goals.

Chinedu Duru, a human resource practitioner asserted that the whole concept of a curriculum change would, no doubt, provide human capability development that addresses key gaps, especially amid the current socio-economic challenges involved in graduate employment.

Duru further disclosed that this call is vital, especially now that the country is faced with a dearth of competent and skilled human resources required to steadily address the critical issue of unemployment in the nation.

To him, skills gap remains a burning issue in the structural academic, vocation and planning challenges which face the government today.

“Regrettably, products of our tertiary institutions are challenged by the fact that employers have to commit additional resources in training them. This unfortunate state has existed in our country for long and there is now an urgent need to raise far-reaching actions to stem the tide of this situation which consistently hampers progress in many facets of endeavour,” he noted.

The HR expert proffered that for the country to move out the present quagmire as a developing economy, there is a need to support a curriculum that would boost sound education, urging entrepreneurs and administrators of the nation’s tertiary institutions to continue engaging in meaningful dialogue that would ultimately result in collective representation of interest and mutual awareness of the common purpose.

Kelechi Ewuzie