Vocational Education To Curb Unemployment in Nigeria
At this critical point in our sojourn as a nation, we need an educational system that works for us. Far from the massive crave for university education with its flawed curriculum, we have to move swift into being technology producers. China is running with her plans to create a big pool of entrepreneurs through technical skills acquisition while Germany has been described as an intern nation.
Internship has been one of the reasons Germany is a model in the engagement of her youths. As these youths are caught early and trained in different trades and technical skill set even as they move into university, when they choose to. It is not hard to see that they get into the workplace ready and can even set up shops for themselves.
It is on this backdrop we demand vocation education should be pursued with all vigour. Unemployment is a ticking time-bomb; we have to reverse the poor enrollment of our kids in vocational schools.
Recently, Professor Emeritus, Imo State University, Obioha Nwana condemned the poor number of students’ enrollment into trade centres and technical colleges. It is common scenario to see these students opting for the regular secondary schools or university.
One of the reasons that have been adduced for student lukewarmness in taking up vocational studies is its perception. Graduate from vocational and technical schools are looked at with disdain. They are made to look inferior and so discouraging others from enrolling in such schools.
We applaud the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) effort at overhauling our secondary school education curriculum. Expunging obsolete contents and standards in the old program and including inculcation of entrepreneurial skills is inevitably going to impact positively in the burgeoning labour market.
While we will be securing their livelihood, we will be smart to look for success stories from vocational school graduates and tell these stories as a media campaign to encourage technical and vocational learning. The time for massive retraining of our young graduates is now; it is unavoidable if we want to be relevant in the 21st century.