Graduates should learn employable skills before graduation, says Bamiro
Undergraduates currently pursuing various degrees in Nigerian universities have been charged to learn and maximise the opportunity of entrepreneurship skills made available in higher institutions so as to enable them start their own businesses after graduation.
Former vice chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, gave the charge while delivering the first convocation lecture of Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Lagos State.
Bamiro, in his lecture titled “The Nigerian university system and the challenge of producing employable graduates in a depressed economy,” declared that it is imperative for both the universities in the country and graduates to find a synergy in tackling the high rate of employment in the country by tapping into the opportunity provided by entrepreneurship training available in the current curriculum.
Represented by a professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Segun Olugbenga Adedeji, he said “Most of the programmes run in the universities are irrelevant to the needs in the socio-economic space of our nation state”, adding that “lecturers have failed to update themselves on new pedagogies to meaningfully transmit knowledge.”
Suggesting a way out of the situation, Bamiro noted that “a high cumulative grade point average (CGPA) resulting in excellent class of degree is undoubtedly desirable as a measure of intellectual capacity; but the aptitudes and attitudes of job seekers are equally, if not more, important to employees. It is therefore becoming increasingly crucial for graduates to cultivate qualities most sought after by their potential employers.
“Our students must therefore prepare themselves to meet the challenges of a changing world by improving their knowledge and skills to meet the demands of employers and the dynamics of the workplace.
“With the present limited availability of job opportunities in our economy, students are expected to seize the opportunity of the entrepreneurship programme currently being introduced into the university system to develop skills that will help them start their own business, create jobs for themselves and others or be intrapreneurs in employment.”
The vice chancellor, Prof Stephen Afolami disclosed that the 32 pioneer graduates of the university; seven of which are in first class, 13 in second class upper category, 11 in second class lower and one in third lass were products of intense investment by all the university workers.He said, “The pioneer graduates to keep in mind the lofty ideals of Augustine University and go out there to be good ambassadors of the University and the Catholic education they have received.”
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