Providing employment space for youths through artisanship

YOUTH Nigeria Nigerian employmentEducation is the bedrock of the economic, political, sociological, and human resources development of a nation. Education and gainful employment help to ameliorate the problem of poverty especially among youths who are the vulnerable and targets of various interest groups in the society.

There is need to create jobs through technological advancement which is attainable, not only through the theoretical but also through practical application of knowledge. The 6-3-3-4 educational system gives opportunity to everyone to contribute their cognitive ability to national development.  It specifically intends to allow students in the junior secondary school who are not academically sound to learn a trade or go to technical colleges to develop themselves in their areas of interest.  It emphasises formal education with the purpose of making the system  become job-oriented so that youths can use their heads, hearts and hands to make things happen. It is meant for those who have shown aptitude towards manipulative skills.

At the end of the junior secondary school level, classes are to be separated for the successful ones to proceed to the sciences, arts or commercial classes while others would continue at the vocational institutes.  However, the 6-3-3-4 system has not been well executed. Usually, all students automatically proceed to the senior secondary level, with the exception of the indigent who are unable to further their educational pursuits.  The vocational training school is expected to be well furnished with efficient trainers and functioning updated equipment for effective learning at a formal setting like the university.  The availability of these facilities will attract youths who clamour for self respect and dignity with their counterparts in the university.

Our federal universities and universities of technology are dominated by theoretical applications instead of the practical aspect of training.  The major challenge is that at the implementation of our education policy, emphasis is on certificates rather than professionalism.  Our educational system lacks adequate funding, administrative will as well as equipment and materials to pursue the desired objectives, goals and aspirations.  The adopted Nigerian educational system is not solving the problem of unemployment because many graduates pass out from higher institutions of learning without being gainfully employed. The system, if well implemented, is expected to breed a strong nation, where youths will be productive and self reliant to build a nation of great and dynamic economy, with bright opportunities for all citizens.

Some Nigerian youths, male and female are migrating to other nations to seek employment purposes which are vocational in nature.

The present non- formal artisanship system is imbibed by indigent youths who are unable to attend vocational training centres.  They eventually end up performing menial jobs, with little added value to our economic growth and development. Some of them are involved in carpentry, weaving and other seasonal jobs with low capital, productivity and returns.

Having identified these shortcomings, the National Youth Service Corps scheme has made it mandatory for all corps members to embark on Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme at their own expense for the one year period.  Many corps members do not participate due to lack of financial support as a result of exorbitant training fees which is not  taken care of by the scheme.  Most importantly, the training period is too short for the corps members to acquire sufficient knowledge.

To balance up between educational attainments and job opportunities, self employment scheme is the answer through science, technology and entrepreneurship.

Fashona Esther

Folake (Ph.D)

Ibadan.

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