Entrepreneurship education encourages innovative brilliance, which is a paramount driving force for future development and it falls within a business department of an institution of higher learning. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has sought the adoption Of the entrepreneurship education model as a tool for securing employment, addressing poverty and increasing the standard of living of Nigerians.
The Chairman, Board, SMEDAN, Otunba Femi Pedro, made the assertion during the SMEDAN Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Development (TINEDEP) Programme held in Lagos on Monday.
Pedro said the model focused on soft and hard skills acquisition to make lives flourish.
He said it had the capacity to tackle the increasing unemployment among youths, which had resulted in high rates of social vices in Nigeria.
Pedro, quoting the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) unemployment record of 33.3 percent, said the increasing indices showed that unemployment and underemployment contributed largely to social unrest, kidnapping, and other vices.
“The unemployment and the underemployment problem is particularly pathetic, as the number of those coming out from various institutions looking for an employment opportunity is alarmingly embarrassing,"
” The economic miracles witnessed among the Asian Tigers, such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, and India, have clearly shown that development is driven by the people’s innovation, creativity, and enterprise,"
” Unfortunately, Nigeria has not been able to enact similar feats owing to the poor linkage between knowledge and development, and poor synergy between the private and the public sectors of the economy,"
“This may have been due to our educational model, lack of appropriate skills, knowledge, and sufficient entrepreneurial culture,” Pedro said.
The SMEDAN Board Chair called for the scaling up of investments in infrastructure and human capital, as practical strategies towards employment generation.
He said that human capital development could be further facilitated through a well-structured curriculum that was skill and entrepreneurship-focused.
Pedro said that an entrepreneurial-focused education system would play a critical role in the development of the economy of any nation.
“In the present educational system, certificates and degrees only prepare students to be job seekers and not job creators, as the tertiary institution does not place needed emphasis on entrepreneurship and vocational training,"
“Meanwhile, entrepreneurship and vocational training usually prepare students to become entrepreneurs,"
“TINEDEP is aimed at preparing students for the fourth industrial revolution due to the paradigm shift in today’s teaching and learning,"
“It is no more ‘go to school, get good grades and get a good job’; it is now ‘go to school, get good grades and acquire skills of being your own boss’ starting your own business,"
“We can only achieve this through an efficient Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurship Development,"
” We are also working out modality to see how we can add value to the tertiary institution's Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) recently launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and are desirous to work with CBN and other stakeholders to ensure the success of the scheme,"
“We should confront the hydra-headed problem of youth unemployment with entrepreneurship /enterprise education and development which TINEDEP of SMEDAN and TIES of CBN are designed to achieve,” he concluded.
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