May Nnah

Stakeholders in the education sector are pushing for a fundamental change to the Nigerian learning approach, which is said to frustrate the smooth transition from education to employment for many graduates.

An educator at the Yaba College of Technology, Dr. Funmilayo Doherty, during the quarterly meeting organised by the National Innovation Collaborative for Education, (NICE) held recently in Lagos, said the current system of education is long overdue for rewiring.

The Chief Executive Officer, West African Vocation Education (WAVE), Misan Rewane called for the implementation of Nigeria’s Education-to-Employment 2.0.

Every year Africa’s largest black nation churns out over 150,000 graduates from its universities, polytechnics or colleges of education, a chunk of whom, about 80 per cent, human resource personnel of organisations said are not employable.

And pushing the recurring indices at the doorstep of the curriculum and teaching approach, Rewane and Doherty who anchored a panel of discussion at the event called for “appreciative inquiry” and “innovative pedagogy.”

“We have long celebrated the problem in education-to-employability. It is time to focus on things that are working and also look out for solutions that can work,” said Rewane. “It is high time we started to aim at appreciative inquiry concerning the education-to-employability transition in Nigeria, whereby we envision a collectively desired future, carry forth that vision in ways that successfully translate intention into reality and beliefs into practices, and unleash the positive energy within individuals and organisations.

“Making use of the teaching guide in a creative and valuable way such that the methods used in the classroom to teach the student are very engaging is the innovative pedagogy that a country like ours need.

“Teachers need to adopt innovative teaching and learning strategy and be more creative in their teaching methods and practices to fully engage the student.”

Another key ingredient highlighted as part of the Education-to-Employment 2.0 package offered as a potent replacement of the current learning approach was “academic honesty.”

According to Doherty, “teachers need to encourage their students to be original, coming up with their own idea from what was taught. Teachers need to transform from being a teacher to being a facilitator thereby making the students more of learners than students. Learners should be able to translate learning into original ideas.

“Most students of now focus on memorization and how to pass their exams because they were taught using the 20th century teaching guide instead of focusing on the knowledge from the lesson and application which can be derived from teaching using the 21st century teaching guide.

“The learning environment should also be learner-centred approach instead of the traditional method (lecturing method).

“Learning should be active, flexible and technology inclined. There is a designed innovative pedagogy called Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), which is education and training that provide knowledge and skills for employment using formal, non-formal and informal learning for social equity, inclusion and sustainable development.”

The programme tagged ‘Rewiring the Education-to-Employment System: Bridging the Gap: Education and Industry’, was hosted by the Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre) and had human resources personnel, stakeholders in the education sector, education programmes officers and media persons in attendance at the TEP Centre, Ilupeju, Lagos.

NICE is a platform that helps education stakeholders leverage innovation and intervention in the sector, as well as provide pathways for research, evidence, collaboration and capacity development at various levels of engagement.

The organisation is now in its third year and has evolved from strictly identifying education innovations to convening stakeholders from government, research and academia, funding organisations, civil society organisations and a broad range of education innovators for discourses, knowledge sharing, learning, capacity development and networking.