Among the many grave challenges that Nigeria is facing currently, preparing the young generation to add value to the national economy in the future seems to be the hardest. Since that last few years, the nation has been steeped in corruption, terrorist attacks, political uncertainty, high unemployment rates and poor educational opportunities. This creates a huge pressure not only on the society but also on the youths.
Challenges For Nigerian Youths
With constantly growing rate of unemployment, it is believed that around 75 per cent of Nigerian youths are ill-equipped to cope the international job market, recession and the global economy. This raises various other issues such as easy access to financial support for start-ups along with other challenges in development. Many experts and youth forums highlight the necessity of quality education as well as practical strategies that will enable young people to deal with specific needs and prepare them to deal with challenges in future. Mass poverty is one of the most menacing challenges in Nigeria and represents a big fraction of the overall national population. Most Nigerian youths face much difficulty in getting a job and starting their careers or even their own business.
Unemployment: The Biggest Challenge
Unemployment is a basic reality for almost all youths, which is even higher than adult unemployment rate. This clearly denotes an improper utilisation of our human capital resources, especially of the Nigerian youth. This also goes to show that most employers do not trust the skills, knowledge and experience of fresh graduates. Young people who get the chance to attend school education are compelled to stay in education for a longer duration by pursuing a masters degree programme. Employment opportunities are becoming more scarce with decreasing salaries and unstable careers.
Those youths who are unable to access higher education opportunities, tend to move away from the school system due to various factors like financial struggles, political disturbances etc. These people are often overlooked by the corporate sector and receive only menial jobs with minimal pay, mostly due to lack of skill and experience. According to statistics, more than 3 million youths in the state of Lagos are still unemployed. With over 2 million people under skilled for employment. Moreover, numerous others are forced to work in temporary jobs are usually taken advantage of by employment agencies with minimal pay and no benefits. Due to all these problems, youths in Nigeria are taking interest in unproductive activities like drug abuse, internet fraud, violent behavior, prostitution, criminal activities, repeated riots etc.
Offering Quality Education
A reputed English Professor said “The biggest problem Nigeria has with empowering her youth is the fact that they throw temporal solutions to permanent problem and never address issues from the grassroots”.
In the past few years, many NGOs have come forward with excellent processes, strategies and concepts that help the youth to access quality higher education and help them to develop skills that are essential for the workplace. The organisations have a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the Nigerian youth and know how these can be dealt with. Hence, they develop targeted solutions that will enable our youths to face various challenges and uncertainties and move closer towards economic independence.
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In spite of the plight of over 200 Nigerian school girls, who were abducted by insurgents, demanding the attention of the world’s media, there is still a lack of focus on the different issues related to gender politics and education in the country.
Most Nigerian Kids Are Out Of School
Currently, Nigeria has the largest number of kids who are out of school. Among the 57 million children in the world who are unable to access educational opportunities, over 10 million of them are in Nigeria; and the number is rising even further. Most of the out of school kids are usually girls, primarily in the Muslim dominated north. However, among the girls who are lucky enough to enrol, around 66 per cent finish only primary school and even fewer female students complete secondary school. In territories where women hold a lower status in society, most parents prefer that their girls work in the market than attend school. The fact is lack of proper education greatly affects the probabilities of a child to escape poverty. As a result of this, most girls become married before they are even 16 years old.
Most families can demand a bride price for their daughters, which is rarely related to their academic accomplishments. Hence, most parents are deterred from sending their daughters to school and encourage them to learn.
Taking The Right Action
ActionAid, an anti-poverty charity, has been constantly striving to challenge some rotten beliefs in northern Nigeria, as far as educating a girl child is concerned. The group has worked with religious leaders and local communities to help promote education for girls. Moreover, the team is also pushing for recruiting more women educators as it encourages parents to send their daughters to schools where most teachers are women. Moreover, constructing safe and secure lavatories for girls also motivates most girls to go to school.
It should be mentioned that social thinking and attitudes are gradually changing in different areas of north Nigeria. However, much more can be accomplished with better investment. As it is, accessing additional funds still remains a big challenge. Even though Nigeria is currently considered as the largest economy in Africa, the nation still invests little in developing education, compared to every other African nation. However, if Nigeria increases its tax base and challenges tax avoidance, then the federal government can easily raise more funds for education.
Offering Sufficient Funding
Providing additional funding to Nigerian schools would help to transform educational institutes in a positive way. Unfortunately, the trend is going completely the opposite way. Due to increasing uncertainty over different kind of social adversities, the government has been compelled to close down a number of schools. Despite of the unpropitious scenario, Nigerian government needs to make sure the buildings remain open, diverting focus on the poor security at schools as that will be the only positive measure to challenge all the negative concerns.
In addition to demanding significant action for bringing back our girls, we also need to demand substantial investment and development in education across Nigeria. Communities must also realise that it is imperative that we educate our girls as this is the only way to make sure that our country and economy truly progresses.
What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to share your views and opinions by commenting below & rise your hands to the girls’ education all over the country.
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Most countries in the continent of Africa are currently facing severe challenges regarding healthcare and education. Although the federal governments of different nations are taking a number of steps to counter the situation, still the difficulties are proving far too great for the authorities to deal with alone. Hence, in order to provide a helping hand, Bharti Airtel and UNICEF have joined forces to offer better health and education solutions to people across the continent.
Improving Access To Health And Education
This new partnership, which has planned to extend their agreement, aims to provide better and simpler access to information resources related to education and health. Both UNICEF and Bharti Airtel are dedicated to help people in 17 different African nations to improve their lives by accessing new innovations. Apart from promoting innovative projects from UNICEF, it will improve the access to education and health-related information throughout the continent.
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) is a United Nations Programme works for promoting the wellbeing and rights of children in over 190 countries across the world. Bharti Airtel Limited is one of the major global telecommunications companies that operate in more than in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Regarding the partnership, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Christian de Faria, said “Airtel is committed to providing innovative solutions that overcome access and quality challenges around the delivery of services. Our partnership with UNICEF provides an opportunity to deploy mHealth innovations that can support healthcare systems and provide helpful education-related information.”
The UNICEF and Bharti Airtel partnership will focus on 17 different African countries, namely Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Gabon, Congo, DRC, Chad and Burkina Faso in West and Central Africa; and Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Rwanda, Madagascar, Malawi and Kenya in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Better Access To Applications And Services
As a result of the agreement, UNICEF will be able to utilise the world-class mobile services offered by Airtel, operating in more than 20 nations across Asia and Africa. It will help to make available content focussed on education, health and youth to Airtel consumers in all the 17 African countries. With the help of better connectivity, increasing number of Africans will be able to gain free access to mobile services and applications that have been developed by UNICEF, namely U-report, eduTrac and mTrac.
Sharad Sapara, Director of UNICEF’s Innovation Centre in Nairobi, said “Access to information is a basic human right, and is fundamental to UNICEF’s innovation agenda. Without access to information children and young people are stifled and cannot make the right decisions on matters concerning them. By improving connectivity, this partnership has the potential to empower millions of African children and youth with information and opportunities to help them become agents of change in their societies.”
Empowering The African Youth
According to UNICEF, the partnership will significantly advance connectivity for millions of children and youth in the continent and empower them with better opportunities so that they can become the important agents of change for their respective communities.
What do you think about the efforts of Airtel and UNICEF in Africa? How else do you think they can help to promote education and health in Africa? Leave your thoughts and comments below. We would love to have a look.
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Recently African leaders met at the Sub-Saharan African Education Conference in Kigali to talk about their combined vision regarding education for 2015 and beyond. The conference was planned by UNESCO and its associates in the EFA (Education For All) movement. It aims to offer a platform to reflect and consider the development attained in accomplishing the EFA objectives, which were set back in 2000, and the present challenges.
Africa Is Making Progress
In the last 2 decades, sub-Saharan Africa has gained impressive momentum in education. Governments of different African nations have used their political will to make combined positive efforts so that more students would attend schools and receive quality education. The advantages of making investments in education across the territory have become clear with tangible outcomes.
Adequate investment in education in Rwanda has significantly decreased the amount of primary school aged children who were not attending schools. The number reduced to 1.3 per cent in 2012 from 14.6 per cent in 2002. Specific funds were developed to make sure that orphaned kids also received equal learning opportunities.
Growing Volume Of Students
Moreover, Rwanda extended lower secondary schooling and the enrolment ratio reached around 37 per cent in 2012, which was thrice the volume in 1999. As the 9 year basic education cycle was introduced and fees for lower secondary school was removed, the volume of lower secondary students increased by 63 per cent from 2008 to 2010. Currently the government is focussed on offering 12 years of free education to all learners.
This can be considered as substantial progress and you can find many other similar success stories. However, the scenario seems vulnerable throughout the continent and the fact remains that the pace gained in the last few years have come to a stop in several regions. This is why need to restart the movement and make sure that all the progress that was achieved does not get lost.
According to data from UNESCO, around 30 million out-of-school primary age children of the 58 million in the world reside in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Even though several efforts were taken, girls still do not receive equal opportunities. There are 84 girls enrolled in secondary education and 92 girls enrolled in primary education for enrolment of every 100 boys. But why? Well there are a number of reasons for this.
Need For Facing Challenges
The population of school age children in the region is growing much faster than other regions; it has increased by 29 per cent from 2000, as per statistics revealed by UNESCO. This means that there are an additional 49 million children and can be compared to a 10 per cent drop in the rest of the globe. Although the federal governments are making numerous attempts, the challenge is simply too great for them to face alone.
Another challenge to quality education is conflict across the region. Among the 33 nations affected by conflict in 2012, 13 regions were identified in sub-Saharan Africa. Pursuing education can increase the threats for young children as often they are kidnapped, forced in to slavery or hired as child soldiers, such as the mass kidnappings of schoolgirls in Nigeria last year.
The Bottom Line
These are raw and real facts that are affecting the development of education in the region. But the fact remains that education is essential for progress, a basic human right and an excellent investment for national development. Hence we need to take more effective steps to ensure that our children receive the education they deserve, not only for their own well-being but also for social development.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to share your views with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.
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Nowadays business education has become one of the most popular higher education qualifications for students across the world. You can see increasing number of students applying for business programmes in reputed B-schools in their home country as well as abroad. The trend can also be observed in Nigeria and other African nations as a business degree will not only give you an edge over your competitors, but it will make you eligible for a number of employment opportunities in this intensely competitive job market.
Studying Business In Nigeria
There is no doubt that business education can help Nigerian youths, both students and professionals, to gain the right skills and build a lucrative career anywhere in the world. You will be able to achieve professional success and prove your skills as a business leader or manager in the international corporate world. This will certainly allow you to earn exceptionally high salaries and create a better life for you and your family.
However, as the education system in Nigeria seems rather dysfunctional and flawed, most students have a hard time pursuing quality business education. Many educationists claim that entire Africa has only 90 business schools when there is a population of more than one billion. This number is seriously alarming. Eleanor Whitehead focuses on an important issue in the article Africa: Business Education – the TIA Survey.” The continent has a comparatively small number of B-schools spread across almost 6 nations in the continent. This means that around 54 African countries do not have even one business management school. However, the scenario is somewhat better in South Africa, the wealthiest economy in Africa, as there are adequate management schools that offer quality business education and training.
Changing The Business Education Sphere
But there is still hope as many institutes are trying to expand the reach of their programmes by offering a number of online courses so that students in remote areas can access them easily. Moreover, in Nigeria alone there are more than 19 reputed business schools such as The Delta Business School, Warri Business School (WBS), University of Lagos Business School, Obafemi Awolowo University Business School, University of Ilorin Business School and others.
Some Nigerian Universities, such as the Madonna University (Okija Campus), the business education department is in the faculty of Arts/Education.The viewpoint of the business education in the faculty of Arts/ Education has risen as a result of the National Policy on Education (NPE).
The Department of Business Education is dedicated to attain specific goals, some of which are mentioned here-
- To encourage the right type of attitudes and significances for the betterment of Nigerian people and society.
- To train the learners in an effective way so that they can properly understand the real world and deal with various scenarios.
- To obtain the necessary skills, capabilities and aptitudes that will allow our students to significantly add to the overall societal improvement once they graduate.
The fact remains that business education enables you to become a better business leader and help businesses grow. This will directly add to the Nigerian economy and result in the development of communities across the nation.
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One of the best ways for Nigerian youths to achieve success and financial independence is to pursue realistic and effective business study. Your business education will enable you to build your career in the global corporate world and earn high salaries for a better life. How? Let’s find out….
Facing A Flawed System
At present the education system in Nigeria is unable to provide world-class education to the students as the system flawed and corrupted. Hence there is no scope for you to acquire the necessary knowledge which will empower you to develop management skills and start your own business. The present education system aims to motivate you to pursue theoretical studies and accomplish excellent grades, boost your employability and secure a high-paying job when you become a graduate.
Although this form of learning might have proved effective earlier, but now it simply does not work as there is a lack of adequate job opportunities globally. In fact many businesses are downsizing as they are still recovering from the last financial crisis. Hence, now there is no point in becoming a college graduate without any business or management knowledge.
So What Is The Solution?
First you need to start by accepting responsibility of the situation and take the right steps to make it better for yourself. If you ask me, the right solution for students like you is to acquire business and management knowledge that enables you to develop entrepreneurial skills and become self employed.
You can find numerous people across Nigeria who have successfully started their own small business and have made it bigger through their business knowledge, skills and determination. In fact now they are hiring fresh graduates and creating new employment opportunities.
As business education is highly inaccessible in Nigeria, most individuals think that a heavy capital investment us necessary to start a business. Hence they have second thoughts about becoming an entrepreneur. But you need to understand the business scenario has changed drastically. Now, having an excellent business idea is more important than having money to establish a small company.
Mrs. Kehinde Kamson started a small confectionary business at the backyard of her home almost 8 years ago. Now she has become the Chief Executive Officer of the well-known Sweet Sensation franchise. Her business has now developed into many outlets across Nigeria. Kamson is a clear example that having business knowledge is more important to become an entrepreneur.
But the question here is: how can you pursue business education without spending excessively, especially when there are limited learning opportunities in Nigeria? Well here is my answer- online business education. Online business diploma programmes are adequately flexible, affordable and effective to empower you to study what you want, how you want and when you want.
Learning The Smart Way
You can find several recognised online business diploma courses offered by numerous B-schools and universities worldwide that offer quality business education to aspiring entrepreneurs. The affordability, flexibility, convenience and exceptional job opportunities provided by these programme are unmatched as it allows you to study and work on your business at the same time.
There is no doubt in my mind that online business and management programmes are a more efficient and economic to build your career. Due the several benefits offered by online learning, many students from across the globe, including Nigeria, are opting to earn business degrees online. It time for you to join the group and give your career the boost it deserves so that you can help your community and substantially add to the Nigerian economy.
What do you think about online business education? Let us know by sharing your opinions below.
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