Article by Prince Rutherford Mmerife
Every employer has a set of goals he intends to achieve and every job sector has a job content as well as a professional capacity to sustain it in the highly competitive global clime. This is the reason why professionals are always making the input of fresh ideas and innovation into their industry.
Sadly and Incidentally, the people that should be employed are often not fit to be absorbed directly into the industries that relate to their supposed field of study.
The following factors are the reasons our graduates are not expressly employable.
1. SCHOOL CURRICULUMS, INAPPROPRIATE LECTURE MATERIALS, AND COURSE OUTLINES
This is particularly true because many of our mainstream educational facilities still use educational curriculums that are primordial and primeval or simply inadequate to infuse current professional trends into the students.
Times are changing and innovation, as well as professionalism and demand of industries, is expanding and advancing. Incidentally, lecture materials and lecture partners still remain the way they have been since the colonial masters left.
I remember my days in university, our lecturers, especially the Professors, would come to lecture us with notes and textbooks that have browned with age. They would boast about how they have used these notes as undergraduates and in their early years as lecturers, and are still maintaining them. Unfortunately, these materials were used in lecturing undergraduates in those days when the industry was still in the birth stage.
Sadly, even the current textbooks and lecture materials we have, are either not suitable for the course in question, or not well tailored to suit the present times.
Our courses are not updated to have a professional scent. The challenges of the outside world are not brought into the classrooms.
2. INADEQUATE INTERNSHIP SCHEMES
This is another area where students miss the step they are supposed to take towards advancing in their capacity to suit into their various careers.
It is either that most job stations are not the appropriate place for a particular vocational development of the student, or the student didn’t actually go through the process with adequate monitoring by both the regulators at the site of internship and the students university, or the student didn’t do the internship at all for one reason or the other.
3. UNDERGRADUATE SEMINARS AND PROJECTS
The purpose of allowing students to participate in these schemes is to give them the opportunity to improve on their ability to think and find solutions to real-life problems in their various fields of study as it concerns the environment they live in.
Even this very important stage of the students’ development has been decimated. Students now have topics given to them by their supervisors. Many supervisors even encourage the students to pay certain amounts to have their projects done for them. Most students on their own never really do much research work in the area of project work given to them. They copy materials from previously done work and submit to their supervisors, who don’t take their time to drill the students based on the objectives of the study.
Some supervisors have quite a number of students they supervise. This has led many of them to do a poor work of supervision. In the end, the student is scored for a research work that will never be used by any industry or parastatal or even be advanced for further work by the university.
4. LACK OF VOCATIONAL ACADEMIES
In most developed countries, students who studied certain courses are mandated to attend an academy that imparts them with the requirements of their courses, that align and suits the period of time.
It is in these academies that they are trained to become equipped with skills that enable them to fit into industries directly without the need for any form of work experience. These academies create workshops for these purposes. The way Nigeria as a country is, one wonders if this kind of arrangement will ever exist.
It was when we graduated that most of us in the department realized for the first time that we didn’t even know what the job of an Agricultural Economist is. It was not imparted into us in school. We were merely reading to have good grades, but professionally, we were empty.
I had to join the organization of Agricultural Economists and began attending workshops so as to know and learn what it entails, and now I am technically certified.
5. LENGTH OF TIME SPENT AT HOME AFTER GRADUATION
Many of Nigeria’s graduates have never done any professional work before. They graduate and look for jobs for some time. Most of them, after graduation, take to odd and menial jobs which they do for a long time and when they finally get the jobs, they realize that they have lost track of the professional content of their disciplines.
Though there are many other factors involved, I believe that these are the main once involved.
WILL THIS TREND EVER CHANGE? TIME WILL TELL….
–Prince Rutherford Mmerife