Curbing Youth Dependence on Government through the Introduction of Entrepreneurial Study in Secondary Schools

By Furera Muhammad Jakusko

INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurship education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. Variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels of schooling from primary or secondary schools through graduate university programs. The secondary school education also aims at providing entrepreneurial, technical and vocational job and specific skills for self-reliance, agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development. Secondary school education is proposed in the National Policy on Education to make its graduate self-reliant but the reverse is the case. The curriculum for senior secondary school level consists of the following, Science and Mathematics, Technology, Humanities Business Studies. Subjects under technology  include: Technical Drawing, General Metal work, Basic Electricity, Electronics, Auto Mechanics, Building Construction, Wood work, Home management and food Nutrition. the reason for these subjects at the secondary school level is to empower students with entrepreneurial skills for personal survival and development after secondary school education.

However, despite the recognition of entrepreneurship as having the potential to curb unemployment among Nigerian youths and the introduction of entrepreneurship education in Nigerian schools, about 80% of Nigerian youths still remain unemployed and still relying on government for job opportunities.

Entrepreneurship involves exploring, evaluating and exploiting business opportunities before setting up in order to forestall the successes of such enterprises. From the above definition, entrepreneurship is not far from the acquisition of skills for personal development and employment. Entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation, showing initiation and risk-taking as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives.

Education is regarded as the greatest mass rewarding and ending investment in human capital (Ogu. 2015). It is a means of acquiring experience, knowledge and skills aimed at eliminating the shackles of ignorance thereby enhancing one’s development(Igwe, 2014).  The education that provides for job creation is entrepreneurship education. Aliu and Ibe (2015) asserted that the goal of entrepreneurship education amongst others is to inculcate in the trainees the ability to:

  1.  Identify and solve problems using critical and creative thinking.
  2. Consider self- employment as a viable option upon graduation from school
  3. Organize and manage one-self and one’s activities.

Entrepreneurship education is thus designed to ensure an enlarged supply of entrepreneurs, diversity ownership of business, promote regional spread of economic activities, encourage self employment for the unemployed and improve the health and standard of living of the people.

CONCEPT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Entrepreneurship According to wikipedia, “is the act of being an entrepreneur” or “one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods”. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new business which is referred to as start up company. Entrepreneurship is generally viewed as a process of creating something new. Doing this involves a lot of time and effort devoted to ensure the tasks at hand and the resultant effects include monetary and personal satisfaction as well as independence.

Objectives of Entrepreneurship Education in our schools

Entrepreneurship education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety or settings. entrepreneurship education is structured to achieve the following objectives.

  1. To offer functional education for the youth that will enable them to be self-employed and selfreliant.
  2. Provide the youth graduates with adequate training that will enable them to be creative and innovative in identifying novel business opportunities.
  3. To serve as a catalyst for economic growth and development.
  4. Create employment generation.
  5. To reduce high rate of poverty.
  6. To inculcate the spirit of perseverance in the youths and adults which will enable them to persist in any business venture they embark on.

Importance of Entrepreneurship study in our Schools

The ultimate goal of educational entrepreneurship is all about increasing the students ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes. In other words, through educational entrepreneurship, students are equipped to deploy their creativity ability for their good and benefits of the larger society.

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of our economy; wealth and a high majority of jobs are created by small businesses started by entrepreneurially mined individuals, many of whom go on to create big businesses. 

In essence, educational entrepreneurship provides a platform for youths to transform opportunities to business ventures and to manage those ventures to become a medium for job creation for themselves and others.

Entrepreneurship education‟s main focus is to provide the students with requisite skills and capacities needed in the world of work.

Entrepreneurship education focuses on developing understanding and capacity for pursuit of entrepreneurial behaviors, skills and attributes in widely different context. It can be portrayed as open to all. Entrepreneurial skills and attributes provide benefits to society, even beyond their application to business activity.

Entrepreneurship Study in Secondary Schools

Entrepreneurship Education requires the use of active learning method that places the learner at the center of educational process and enables them to take responsibility for their own learning to experiment and learn about themselves. Thus teachers need the professional competencies to be able to guide student through the learning process.  Educational entrepreneurship provides a platform for youths to transfor opportunities to business ventures and to manage those ventures to become a medium for job creation for themselves and others. The ultimate goal of educational entrepreneurship is all about increasing the student‟s ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes. In other words, through educational entrepreneurship, students are equipped to deploy their creativity ability for their good and benefits of the larger society. They are also empowered to take initiatives, responsibilities and risks

The Role of Entrepreneurship Study on Job Creation among Youths

Education is the key to national development. This is because it unlocks the economic potentials of the people; empowers and equip individuals in the society to participate in, and benefit from there national economy; facilitates economic development and provides the basis for transportation. Education is the essential tool for sustainability.  A srudnet of entrepreneurship education would have acquired enough skills relevant to management of small business centre. Through entrepreneurship education, a pool of potential entrepreneurs who are well equipped with skills and technical know how to manage small/medium scale industries are produced. This will equally help in job creation. Through quality entrepreneurship education, Nigeria will provide a lot of entrepreneurs who could establish and manage business on their own. This will help in reducing poverty in Nigeria.

How Entrepreneurship study Could Help in Job Creation and Youth Empowerment

 Quality Entrepreneurship Education plays a vital role in the social, political and economic development of any Nation. This is possible when jobs are created for the citizenry by establishing a lot of businesses that will accommodate the unemployed youths in Nigeria. A qualified graduate of entrepreneurship education would have acquired enough skills relevant to management of small business centre.

Creation of self-employment

An entrepreneur provides job for himself by establishing small business centre. This helps to reduce the problem of unemployment and other social vices in Nigeria. The entrepreneur does not only provide jobs/employment for himself alone, but provides for others too. This in turn helps the individual to increase per capital income hence improve standard living.

Rural, economic and industrial development

Entrepreneurship stimulates rural, economic and industrial development. They contribute to the development of rural areas. They do this by establishing their small/medium scale enterprise in such areas by discouraging rural migration. They provide ample job opportunities to the rural dwellers. They also provide goods and services, which could be found in an urban area and sometimes provide infrastructural facilities.

Well equipped with skills and technical know how

Through entrepreneurship education, A pool of potential entrepreneurs who are well equipped with skills and technical know-how to manage small/medium scale industries are produced. This will equally help in job creation. Through quality entrepreneurship education, Nigeria could produce a lot of entrepreneurs who could establish and manage businesses on their own.

CHALLENGES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

STUDY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

The achievement of objectives of any level of education depends largely on effective implementation of its planned programme. the following issues demand urgent attention. They are:

Inadequate Instructional Facilities

Instructional facilities refer to the basic structures and facilities necessary for effective teaching and learning in the school. Facilities are plants, equipment, buildings, furniture which enable teachers to deliver effective teaching thereby leading to attainment of behavioural objectives. What is found in most secondary schools in Nigeria are dilapidated buildings, leaking roofs, lack of chairs and desks for students and teachers to use. This has negative effect on effective implementation of new secondary school curriculum.

Inadequate Qualified Staff

This is a crucial stage in implementing new secondary school curriculum. For any programme of the curriculum to be properly implemented, the implementer must be adequately qualified. In Nigeria, it is unheard of that most secondary schools do not have adequate qualified teachers

Poor Funding

Inadequate funding of our schools and most importantly the funding of the skills acquisition centres in schools has rendered the ineffectives of students inability to develop interest in entrepreneurship thereby making stratetigic plans not achievable.

CONCLUSION

Nigeria has a history of economic stagnation that has led to decline in white collar jobs. The inclusion of entrepreneurship study in our secondary schools will to a great extent, assist in solving this problems of high unemployment and underemployment. Entrepreneurship study in this paper has been recognized as a key driver in encouraging business start up potentials among our youths. 

Realizing the benefits of entrepreneurial studies at the secondary school level depends to a significant extent on the pedagogical practices of its teachers, including the usefulness of the learning activities. Entrepreneurial studies can not be taught in the same way that social studies, mathematics, and science are traditionally taught at the secondary school level in Nigeria. A shift in pedagogy is needed at that level in order to make entrepreneurship truly an applied discipline. Entrepreneurship requires action, whether it is conceptualized as the creation of new products or processes, entry into new markets, or the creation of new ventures, it typically involves personal initiative and commitment. 

F.M. Jakusko can be reached at fureramamaa@gmail.com

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