A Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Eleyinla, and an aspirant for the House of Representatives in Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019 general elections, Mallam Mustapha Hussein Olarewaju Babareke, have called for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s educational curriculum to meet the contemporary challenges.
The two specifically stated that the review of the curriculum should be carried out in the manner that the educational system would be vocational and entrepreneurial driven.
The university don and the aspirant spoke at the 6th annual Ramadan lecture entitled “Poverty and Social Vices Eradication in Islam“, organised by Olarewaju Mustapha Babareke (Olamus Fund management) in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Eleyinla, who was Guest Speaker at the event, expressed discontent over the rising wave of unemployment among graduates being churned out annually and said the review of the education curriculum was imperative to make them employers of labour after leaving schools.
He urged the government to earmark six months out of the mandatory one year service for members of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to undergo vocational training to be able to acquire skills and in turn provide start-up capital for them.
The university teacher called on political office holders to invest resources at their disposals in job creation in order to reduce unemployment rate, which he noted, brewed for poverty among the citizenry.
For Babareke, a renowned accountant, he said the nation’s educational system was dysfunctional and needed urgent reform for job creation.
He explained that the curriculum in place was old because it was designed to cater for industrial needs unlike in the contemporary period that information and communication technology has taken over.
“Nigeria educational system is dysfunctional; it is disconnected, and it is as a result of our inability to change with time. The curriculum and philosophy we are educating our people with belongs to the colonial era and now we are in the era of information technology and information management” Babareke said.
“In the industrial era, yes, industries were springing up but the society then lacked the competent and qualified hands to man those places, and that was why the focus then was to educate people to be able to fit into paid employment that were already created” he added.
According to him, “from 1992 and 1993, when we ushered in the capitalist system of government that changed. From then, government believed that government has no business in business, and since then, the work of job creation ceased to be the responsibility of the government and by extension became the responsibility of the individuals”
“Rather than for our educational system to be vocational and entrepreneurial focused, we still cling to that old ideology of let me send my child to school to come up with a good grade and to begin to look for paid job, and the paid job is no longer there. Even government has over-employed and now it’s battling with the crisis of paying salaries” he added.
Babareke emphasised that there was need for Nigeria to focus on it education system as regards re-working it curriculum to create jobs.
“I think the way forward is for us to focus our education and to focus our curriculum and ultimately even our philosophy on how our youth can be more productive and more engaging by being able to create jobs, employment for themselves and become employers of labour”, Babareke said.