This admission through a captain of the Nigerian industry confirms the vital suspicion approximately the quality of schooling in Africa’s 2d biggest economic system. Tangentially, it gestures in the direction of the problems of massive unemployment, mind-drain and manpower shortages that continue to cripple home efforts to achieve rapidly sustainable boom. For qualified youths looking for a process, it additionally explains the extended and intensive pre-recruitment exams that Nigerian company houses insist on earlier than hiring nearby expertise.
Western education first got here to Nigeria with missionaries inside the middle of the Nineteenth Century, who set up the united states of America’s first schools. By the time Nigerians declared independence from colonial rule in 1960, there have been 3 wonderful education structures in operation: indigenous network education and apprenticeship in rural regions, schools of Islamic getting to know and sooner or later formal training provided by using European-encouraged institutions. Although stress at the formal training device remained excessive within the years following, the fall apart of world oil costs within the early ’80s pressured big discounts in authorities spending on education. The outcome turned into a slow degradation at all degrees of learning, from primary colleges to universities, and a corresponding fall in literacy and employment quotas. According to a 2005 record, the overall literacy fee had fallen from almost seventy-two % in 1991 to sixty-four % on the give up of the last century2. More worrying records were recommended with the aid of the Employment and Growth Study released via the Nigerian authorities and the World Bank’s International Development Agency in 2008. According to this study, unemployment levels remained unfazed between 1999 and 2006 notwithstanding a 7% boom of the non-oil economy within the equal period3. Moreover, whilst task opportunities grew corresponding with the labor pressure, children unemployment honestly confirmed considerable boom. The record notes as a result that “Nigeria’s boom overall performance has no longer replied to the employment aspirations of its population as an entire”. Despite big projects within the fields of training and employment generation, one out of 5 Nigerian adults is still unemployed in keeping with some estimates, and simplest every 10th college graduate ever manages to get a task.
The findings are revelatory within the context of Abuja’s frantic efforts to prioritize educational restructuring as a device for economic competitiveness. It is likewise a sad remark on the efficacy of well-supposed but likely token coverage projects – like the compulsory entrepreneurship training programme for all university graduates ordered through former president O Obasanjo.
While the relative deserves of such measures may be debated endlessly, the focus on the company is rarely in the query. Emerging out of turbulent economic and political records at the beginning of the brand new millennium, the civilian management in Nigeria became grasped with the ambitious undertaking of reversing a long time of financial stagnation and negative growth tendencies. Abuja’s answer to elevated improvement was an energetic business enterprise promoting inside the SME area. The authorities simultaneously launched into an enthusiastic reforms programme aimed at correcting fundamental macroeconomic imbalances, eradicating poverty and raising common living requirements. To similarly consolidate country wide pursuits, it signed the UN Millennial Declaration of 2000 for usual human rights and formally followed objectives to establish Nigeria as one of the top 20 world economies by means of 2020. With its abundance of natural and human assets, Nigeria is primed to drive a corporation revolution with a view to supply explosive increase and sufficiently diversify the economic system beyond its conventional obsession with oil and gasoline. Education is important to this scheme of things due to its direct hyperlink to productiveness, and due to the fact, the extent of Nigeria’s monetary increase is essentially dependent on the abilities of its team of workers.
Advisory commissions installation by colonial governments in the early 20th Century had been a few of the first to record fundamental deficiencies in educational structures throughout Africa. They mentioned that the excellent of training furnished in the continent was singularly detached from the wishes and aspiration of nearby populations. Sadly, that remains the problem in Nigeria at the least, where the authorities have been hard positioned to revamp the schooling machine consistent with the MDG and 2020 desires. Because of the time-certain nature of these programmes, Nigeria needs to deliver speedy on numerous counts.
In August this 12 months, the prevailing government beneath President UM Yar’Adua announced that it might claim a state of emergency against unemployment and joblessness with the aid of appreciably using IT systems and operations to train unemployed Nigerians. Although the guarantee of rapid improvement within the employment state of affairs is spirited, whether or not Abuja tactics the challenge holistically remains to be seen. The lengthy-time period economic boom of this state of 148 billion people is effectively tied to the abilities of its manpower. The question earlier than Nigeria is whether it properly recognizes training as the important thing to expanding financial possibilities.