McPherson University graduates 86 students, tasks them on workplace skills

McPherson University said it has graduated a total of 86 students during the school’s 6th convocation held recently in its premises in Ogun State.

Olufemi Bamiro, professor of Mechanical Engineering, urged graduating students from universities to improve their skills to meet the demands of employers by bringing them at par with the dynamics of the modern workplace.

Delivering the 6th convocation lecture of the McPherson University on the topic, ‘Transforming the Nigerian University System for Graduate Employability and Socio-Economic Development,’ Bamiro said that a high cumulative grade point average (CGPA) resulting in an excellent class of degree is undoubtedly desirable as a measure of intellectual capacity but, the aptitudes and attitudes of job seekers are equally important to employers.

He said that it has become crucial for graduates to cultivate qualities most sought after by their potential employers.

According to the former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, lack of skills has a direct negative impact on productivity, depending on the extent to which skills that become obsolete are essential in the production process.

“Since 2000, the Nigerian economy has been characterised by high growth rates but accompanied by persistent high unemployment rates and rising inequality. The existence of a high growth rate and high unemployment presents a paradox of ‘jobless growth’. This pattern of growth and its attendant employment outcomes are neither desirable nor sustainable,” Bamiro said.

He said that for Nigeria to benefit from its ‘demographic dividend’, developing the entrepreneurial potential of its youth population is an essential opportunity for growth.

He added that specific labour-market interventions, including federal and state-level youth skill-building institutions.

According to him, universities must evolve transformative pedagogies to deliver the new curricula and take the students away from the current passive pedagogy which takes learning as memorisation and reproduction of facts, figures and rules.

“Improve the teaching function through attention to its structure, what it offers and most importantly, what value-addition it can provide to students. Build capacity of lecturers to handle the dynamics of teaching and learning, particularly the outcomes-based curricula,” he said.

Bamiro further said that most institutions that have recorded a high level of success in graduate employability, have achieved this through the formulation of deliberate graduate employability policy with implementation of the employability-embedded curricula.

“Our universities and the NUC stand to gain a lot from the existing international best practices to enhance graduate employability,” he said.

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Adeniyi Agunbiade, vice-chancellor of the university, who spoke on the topic, ‘Finishing Gloriously For Mighty Things,’ said in an attempt to expand the horizon of the number of academic programmes, the University sought and got the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to run seven new undergraduate and postgraduate programmes with effect from this new (2021/2022) academic session.

Agunbiade said that as a faith-based University, the management is not relenting in the area of student discipline, noting that the school continues to frown at indiscipline or any act of misconduct.

James Nda Jacob, acting pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council of the university, said the vision of the University is to build a people of excellence and integrity for service by equipping them with all godly virtues.

He said this will help them to serve meritoriously in various segments of social, economic and political lives of this country and beyond.

He appealed to government to collaborate with private institutions, through their inclusion in TETFUND and to give relaxed taxation to help in preparing the next generations of skilled and ethical professionals.

Soladoye Anuoluwapo from the department of Accounting and Finance emerged the overall best graduating student with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.96.

Oyenola Babatunde Ishola, from the department of Religion and Peace Studies, emerged the second best with a CGPA of 4.91, while Balogun Olusolape Martha from the department of Accounting emerged the third best with a CGPA of 4.88.

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