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Published On: Wed, Nov 13th, 2019

Skill acquisition among Nigerian youth

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By Idris Saadu

Skill acquisition is the ability to be trained on a particular task or function and become expert in it. It is a pity that there is huge parading of unemployment in many parts of the world today especially in Nigeria. This is giving many youths in different parts of the world today a sleepless night. It is one of the causes of rapid growth in crime in many parts of the world. But do you think there is any relationship between someone who has acquired skill on how to perform a particular job and make money from it and unemployment? The answer is no because the skill he has acquired can always speak for him/her in the absence of white collar job opportunities.
Today, there are many unemployed graduates in the country. This is partly as a result of our long system of education that is more of grammar and not much practical learning. It is evident that the highest number of unemployed is found in the African Continent. The truth remains that the major causes of the unemployment among these vibrant youths is lack of skill to back up what they learnt from their institutions of learning. When these graduates were still in school, they did not border to learn at least one single skill, may be that which is related to graphic designing, typing, hair dressing, electrical maintenance, computer literacy, Fashion Designing, Cosmetology, Catering and Hotel Management, Bag/Shoe making, Hair Dressing, Bead making, Capentary, Bread production, Tailoring, Weldering and others. If they have learnt any skill at all, the rate of unemployment will reduce among them & economic recession will reduce as well.
Skilled person can survive in any environment to the fact you can resist to withstand living in a country that that you are not bona-fide of it why because you are material economy to any society you find yourself in As water is very essential to human life, so is skill training and acquisition needed in the life of every serious minded human being. Skills can do a lot of great work in the life of every living soul. Lack of entrepreneurial skills is one of major causes of corruption, bribery, robbery and killing, kidnapping, insurgency, conflict as well as misunderstanding between government and it’s citizenry.
For these reasons, Development Education Centre (DEC Enugu) during the past 3 decades engaged in the provision of entrepreneurial Skills acquisition programme which empowered over 3000 out of school female youths from 500 communities in the South East of Nigeria since its inception.
If we are serious about nurturing our youth towards income creation, we have to start implementing relevant programmes within the school system. Vocational guidance to identify entrepreneurial potential must be provided and teachers should be trained to make all subject material relevant to real-world earning opportunities right from the root cause background foundation of educational system which is primary level.
One of my pet peeves is seeing creative efforts by students that are not coupled with entrepreneurial guidance to help them reap financial benefits from their hard work. For example, students often design viable inventions for science fairs that could be produced and marketed for profit, but the value that they create is never channeled into a business venture. Unfortunately, many of these students turn around and leave university without job options and opportunities.
In Nigeria we are reaping the bitter harvest of too many idle young hands which are not being channeled into projects to supply them with steady income and hope for the future. It is crucial for Government, wealthy individuals, donor agencies as well as merger enterprises/limited companies to use the tool of entrepreneurship/skill acquisition Initiatives to provide opportunities for our young people to escape the chains of poverty and crime.
Idris Saadu writes in from University of Maiduguri.

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