‘Standardized Curriculum Vital to Solving Employability Challenge’

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Ugo Aliogo

The Managing Director, U-Connect and Gr8jobsng, Omomene Odike, has stated that the establishment of a standardized education curriculum would be a catalyst to Nigeria’s employability shortfall.

Odike, who disclosed this recently in Lagos at the second edition of project employ career fair organised by Gr8jobsng tagged: “Project Employ 2.0: Repositioning Our Youth for a Digital Tomorrow”, said the country’s employability shortfall has bridged the gap between youth unemployment and the educational system which is supposed to develop skills based manpower that would produce ready-made employees for the job of the future.

“In Western societies, you find out that everything concerning education whether it is at the secondary school or tertiary levels are standardized. The standardization is very vital and we don’t have that here; therefore, there is a need for the government to take a conscious effort to get all stakeholders involved, and until we improve governance framework, we are not going to make much progress,” she said.

She also noted that Nigerian universities are working in silos at the moment, hence there is a need for a unified and codified process of transferring employability skills across the country, “employability courses need to be entrenched into secondary school curriculum.”

Odike hinted that there is no consistent pattern in government’s employability initiatives, adding that most of the employability issues in the society are more political than geared towards solving a problem; therefore there is need for the impact of employability initiative to be measurable.

According to her, “The 2019 career fair focuses more on repositioning the youth for the digital space. We have noticed that there have been a shift from having people who have the certification and qualifications, to people who have the skills.

“The feed backs from the last career fair, indicated that lot of the youths do not understand the idea of the digital space and the future of work on the global stage, as a result there is a need to continually engage the youth on platforms that can prepare their mind ahead, with lots of training and discussion on the future of work.”

In his remarks, the chairman of Ubong King Foundation, Ubong King, said, problems are the beginning of opportunities, noting that anywhere there is a problem, there is an opportunity.

“We have over 62.5 million youths that cannot be employed because they don’t have skills, and why they don’t why skills is that they are not trained for skills.”

King opined that the way forward is to reposition the educational sector to develop skills acquisition, while calling on government to get right people involved in the system, and institutions of learning should assist in discovering the potential of individuals and how to groom it.

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, MD Telnet, Folorunso Alli, said competition is not what we need presently as a country, rather people who are thinking of solving problems.

He said to solve a problem you need to think of the knowledge base that you have; specific skills you have or tuned to acquiring, stating that there is too much focus on certification, instead of the problem, “so, the focus is to identify a problem and then leverage on the technology that can be best suited to solve the problem.”

picture caption: L-R: Managing Director, Telnet, Mr. Folorusho Aliu; Access Bank, Mrs. Chekwube Ohaeri; Managing Director, CEO U-Connect / Gr8jobsng, Mrs. Omomene Odike; Chief Executive Officer, Yellow Point Media, Dr. Yemisi Imasi; Business consultant, Mr. Ubong King, at the second edition of Gr8jobsng project Employ event in Lagos recently