EACH CHILD, ONE SKILL
The world of today is fast changing to accommodate only those with enough capacity to thrive.
The best companies and industrial outfits are run by people with the needed knowledge and skills. Nobody wants to hire workers with general or common competence.
The trigger has moved to unique competencies which is not in public domain and can scarcely be offered by many.
When you have skillful competencies you rule your world. Your services will be sought after.
We have in recent times advocated the holistic resetting of school curriculum in Nigeria to accommodate vigorous pursuit of skill acquisition in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Lack of skill by graduates and school leavers is the reason why many of our young people are unemployable and remain jobless after many years of graduation.
This is a worrisome situation in our clime which needs special attention from critical stakeholders in the education sector.
The education sector needs impactful restructuring, the kind that will entrench the teaching of skills and crafts in a comprehensive way.
It is not the type that is read in textbooks with no practical application. We need parents and all critical stakeholders to prevail on the government to raise structures in our schools basically for teaching practical skills, wherein every child at whatever level of education must graduate with at least one certified technical/practical skill.
The army of our youths have taken to less dignifying jobs just to put food on their table, even at the expense of their dignity.
Majority are absorbed in tricycle riding and many other odd jobs.
Many are neck deep in gambling, becoming heavy stakers in betting shops. When they no longer have money to bet further, some of them switch to criminality to regain their staking power.
Some of them are tricycle operators and motorcycle riders, most of whom are youths frustrated for lack of gainful employment. This is a major source of concern.
They engage in these practices because they are bereft with practical skills, craft and competencies.
What can we do to arrest this ugly trend? Parents and family members have a huge role to play in this regard. The cradle of every child is very important.
The timely indoctrination of the child positively bears heavily on him or her. The good book says it that we should train up a child in the way he should go, so that when he grows up he will not depart from it.
What impartation parents make available to their children has a great toll on them.
It is the duty of parents to let their children understand the need and importance of learning a craft at early stages of their life. That does not stop them from conventional education.
Parents should be influential enough to guide their kids to acquire useful skills that can impact meaningfully on them when they become adults.
This is what advanced countries do. When a child is competent on an important skill, the question of frustration after graduation from tertiary institution becomes unlikely.
This child in his education cannot descend as low as motorcycle or Keke riding. He will find his skill and education handy and useful. His adult life will begin from there and before you know it he or she becomes an employer of labour.
This child would be occupied with how and where to apply his skills to earn a living. You see, this is one way parents can discourage their children from Keke riding, which appears the only way out for frustrated youths.
The government and also private sector actors should see the need to establish skills acquisition centres where people can access technical skills.
Enough awareness is needed to raise the interest of parents and gaurdians in guiding and channelling their wards to prosperous adulthood.
We deserve a better society where every man is engaged in one meaningful trade or the other. Parents should assume the championship of this very important call.
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Dr. Uche Ogbuka
Abia Yowican Chairman.