A don, Prof. Victor Ekhator, has urged tertiary institutions in the country to focus more attention on the practical aspect of teaching entrepreneurial and vocational skills.
Ekhator, who is the Dean, Faculty of Management Science, University of Abuja, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the lecturer in public policy, the lack of practical skills among many Nigerian graduates is limiting their capacity to earn a living for themselves
“We can improve the entrepreneurial skills of students in tertiary intuitions by making it more practical-oriented.
“The kind of entrepreneurship we still teach now are too theoretical.
“My advice is that several trades men can be brought from outside to teach these practical skills.
“Trades men like vulcanizers, mechanics panel beaters, painters, tilers, mesons, carpenters – furniture makers, roofers – those who roof houses – can be brought to teach these trades.
“Even photographers; but we are not doing that yet; we are still focusing on theory.
“It is not theory we need, but the practical.’’
Ekhator said that it was important to make the practical teaching of skills in the universities a priority given the scarcity of government and private sector jobs in Nigeria.
“The reality is that the jobs are not there, no new avenues created for the upcoming youth.
“The industries helping government in the past are not there any longer.“
The university lecturer said that the unfriendly environment, cost of doing business and infrastructural deficits had made many private industries to relocate to other countries.
According to him, this has created a huge gap in the employment opportunities available for Nigerian graduates.
He noted that industries are major employers of labour in the more advanced economies of the world.
Ekhator explained that graduates, who learnt vocational skills have done better in their trade than those who did not acquire any form of education but are also involved in the same job.
According to him, only few higher institutions in the country have entrepreneurial centres where practical aspects of entrepreneurial skills are taught.
“The old equipment that government made available in the past for technological skill acquisition were never used; they were not installed.
“Even the teachers of introductory technology never knew how to use the equipment.’’ (NAN)