I remember when I started my first job. There were so many things that I had no idea about like customer service, marketing, etiquette etc. which I had to be learn on the fly. Many graduates can relate to this experience which can be overwhelming for many. Some don’t even get over it.
There are other signs that our young ones are not getting a good and useful education especially on social media where you see the poor sentences and terrible thinking on display and you cannot reiterate the need for an overhaul of the education system.
Education is the primary means of social mobility for lower income people in any society but when it cannot help one earn a good living then something is wrong. What is taught in many schools today is sorely outdated and the rote learning employed as the means of instruction does not enhance critical thinking which is needed for any society to progress.
Many young people today cannot get employed because they bring no value to the table which is the hall mark of successful people. Many of them get clueless when the theories they learnt in school don’t work in particular work situations. This is why the Nigerian education system has to be changed to get people thinking creatively and being able to think out of the box.
Some people look down on certain sectors but people can make money out of any profession today as long as they have the knowledge of marketing their offerings in the right way, customer service, book keeping skills, financial management and learning how to build a business system around their passions. Even the vocational jobs people look down on are being taken up by many young people today as they realize they need something practical that can feed them and some have built businesses out of it.
A forward looking education sector should be able to inculcate these practical skills into their students so that they can stand on their own. The apprentice system practiced by many traders and vocational professionals do this with their trainees and I say its the most effective method of learning as the students can learn by example rather than reading books about theories they know nothing about.
Some formal companies are now inculcating this in their education experience. One good example is the talent accelerator company called Andela. The US-Nigerian company train students in computer programming for four years and along the way get their students to work on projects for large companies in silicon valley gotten through Andela . This gives the students much needed skills and practical training as they get to work alongside experienced programmers. They get to do this from Nigeria through the internet and the students don’t pay anything to enrol but the admission process is brutal (usually only 1 out of 100 applicants get accepted) which ensures only the best get in. The good thing is the students who get accepted in the next stage get paid a good salary (around 80000 naira monthly) while being trained. Tell me what deal is better than this?
Andela aims to train 100000 programmers around Sub Saharan Africa through this method.The founders Iyin Aboyeji and Jeremy Johson believe that many people in the developing world do not get the opportunities their western counterparts get so they have set out to provide this opportunities and have trained a 100 developers so far in the one year they have being operating.
If more companies adopt this method maybe we can reduce the high unemployment rate in the country and get the economy moving.Making our educational system a more practical oriented system that encourages critical thinking and provide skilled individuals will help everyone in the long run and should be done straight away instead of relying only on a rote learning method. (Hey this could be a solution to the “years of experience” thingy that drop so many young people during job interviews)