“..But truly, there’s no country that will develop without solid foundation in education as it is the mother of every development towards the emancipation of the mind and all that. I think the Nigerian system today is the cause of the challenges we face but I want to believe it’s a temporary thing”. These are parts of the issues raised by the Principal/Chief Executive Officer, Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Warri, Delta State, Dr. Henry Adimula, who shares some of the challenges confronting education and advised government to channel its efforts towards human capacity building. Daniel Njienue reports.
-April 5, 2021, News/Interviews
Challenges confronting education
One of the problems facing education in Nigeria is the lack of proper funding. What the government provides to fund our High Institutions cannot guarantee firsthand knowledge but we are managing the situation. Another area I am very concern is government’s structure in viewing the curriculum of our training institutions. The question should be, can it deliver the kind of man power that is needed today in the industry and, I think the answer to that effect is not yes, because looking through the curriculum and comparing with other institutions across the world, you will find out that ours are-a little bit deficient.
However, there are a lot of restrictions that has made education to be lacking in human capacity development: The Governing Bodies such as accreditation bodies which are NBT, NC have so much power and so, Institutions can only do things within the ambit of the code of operation, which they have established, and when you introduce something, it seems contrary to what they have put in place. So, everyone is being careful. We need proper funding like private Institutions that are better and well equipped. Funds should be made available for Research and Development because without that, the industrial sector will continue to suffer and keep depending on foreign technology and. bottleneck should be removed while autonomous should be given so that, Institutions can do things without interference.
Education is scam.
Well, education is not a scam, Now, if I were to graduate from the University today and I stay at home 2-5years without a job or any means of empowerment to become an entrepreneur or start up a business, maybe I will also think it is a scam. I believe many people have not gone through the kind of education training I had and seemingly to be making it in another way whether legitimately or illegitimately I will think it is a scam, But truly, there’s no country that will develop without solid foundation in education as it is the mother of every development towards the emancipation of the mind and all that. I think the Nigerian system today is the cause of the challenges we face but I want to believe it’s a temporary thing
What will make us to come out of the woe today is good education. If we can structure our education today in such a way the students will learn and acquire skills that will make them to stand on their own, and compete anywhere in the world, then education will not be viewed as a scam. Now people seems to go to school, at the end of the day, what do they have? If you went to the University or Polytechnic for 4-5years and at the end of the day, you come out the same or nearly the same that means it’s a waste of time. But the question is, the education we give today, does it transform the people, because the essence of education is to transform an individual mindset and make him or her fit to solve the problem of the society. These are some of the reasons why most of them think education is a scam but it doesn’t worth it because there are a lot one can do through education.
Solving Unemployment challenges
Now, if you look at the labour market as it is, you will find out that the largest employer of labour is still the government in the public establishment. And if you look at the number of the population today with the number of graduates we have every year, then certainly government cannot continue. What government is expected to do, is to create an enabling environment that will allow Private sectors to thrive. Thus, if we have a good number of companies springing up every day, they will take a few from the large poll of unemployed graduates but today, rather than having industries being established, the existing ones are folding up. There’s infrastructural decay, electricity power is expensive, the cost of production today in Nigeria is far expensive than the cost of producing elsewhere. So it’s easier, cheaper and more profitable to import and sell than to establish a factory in Nigeria and you will be waiting for foreign exchange to buy your raw materials, power will be a problem, and option left is to run on diesel. The cost of production is very high. Today if you take a survey on Oil and Gas industry, you will see the restiveness and the agitations. Using Warri oil city as a case study, when I came newly to the city in those days, there were a lot of oil industries everywhere but today there are no more, a lot of them have moved to elsewhere.
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