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Group harps on employability skills of muslim graduates

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A non-organisation, First Class Muslim Foundation (FCMF) has urged Muslim graduates to acquire the employability skills needed to fit into the labour market.

Speaking during the one day summit organized by FCMF, the guest speaker, the Pro-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby, United Kingdom, Professor Kamil Zakariyya’ Omoteso, said lack of employability and entrepreneurship skills are among the major reasons many first-class graduates couldn’t secure jobs after graduation.

He emphasised on the need for institutions to integrate employability into their agenda by supporting students on CV writing, crafting of their personal statements, preparing students for interviews and assessment centre activities and providing Research assistantship opportunities for outstanding students.

He said, “Employability and entrepreneurship skills are really important for students before they graduated from Universities. Like someone asked a question that they have got the degree but because they have not got the experience, it’s becoming difficult for them to secure jobs.

“This isn’t going to be so if the University incorporates employability and entrepreneurship skills in its academic curriculum. There would be an opportunity for volunteering whereby organisations would liaise with the University to take students for internship for three to six months, either before or immediately after their graduation. The experience they have gathered during the period would add to their CVs. It has to be a collaboration between ‘The Town and the Gown’ if you see what I mean. That would help them a lot.”

Omoteso called on the government and the Nigerian universities to be serious about the employability for their students, adding that they are talents that shouldn’t be wasting away.

While talking about Nigerian students seeking scholarship abroad, he said it is not easy except through the right links and exploring the right areas.

According to him, aside from that, they need mentorship support in terms of how to write a personal statement.

“What to put in the personal statement for example? Because that is very weighty while they are scrutinising and screening the applications. So that’s an area we can explore for the future. How do you craft your personal statement, how do you write your application in a way that would be able to sell yourselves?”

The lead consultant at Habiba Balogun Consulting (HBC), Hajia Habibah Balogun said that many students graduated with first-class because of their IQ (intelligence quotient), but their first class is not what is going to make them succeed in the labour markets.

“What would help them succeed is people skills which come under the umbrella of emotional intelligence,” she added.

According to her, emotional intelligence is the ability to know yourself very well; ability to control your emotions; ability to have a good relationship with other people, and to show empathy and be self-motivated.

The Chief Executive officer, B.K.O. Capital, Alhaji Lukman Obileye posited that there are too many Muslim graduates who lack emotional intelligence, saying, “one of the reasons they lack emotional intelligence is because aside religious books, they don’t read other books (particularly motivational ones).

Obileye, however, noted that those who read religious books among them do not understand what they read.

He asked, “how many of you have read the Qur’an in the language you understand from beginning to the end in this lifetime?,” only few audience signified.

Professor Adedeji Ahmed said that their first class is just one out of several tools needed to be successful in life, saying that they need to learn to acquire the remaining tools.

He said, “I see you know nothing, but my evaluation of your status today, you hold a first-class. There are so many things you don’t know. Your academic qualification is just one. So, it is just as if in one out of several things you need to know, you excelled. Now pursue the remaining. You cannot pursue the remaining except you are taught.”

He also noted that putting Allah first in everything and thanking Him for every condition is the major factor that has worked for him to achieve success in life.


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