A lot has been written and said about the problems plaguing the nation’s educational system over the years, but what may not be getting so much attention are the career decisions that students often make, many of which prevent them from meeting their potential and being employed or creating jobs.
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the current unemployment rate in Nigeria as at the last quarter of 2021 is at 33.3%.
Mrs. Blessing Bello, the proprietress of Qualis Royal Academy, Yola, believes that this rapid increase is attributed to a lack of career direction which poses danger to the growth of the nation.
She made this known during the 2022 Career Day celebration of the institution, noting that not a few stakeholders have observed that the world is evolving from a century characterized by reliance on narrow cognitive learning processes in schools to a more advanced form of knowledge sharing that derives students towards rewarding careers in the long run.
“We are trying to teach the kids about future careers. What has taken center stage over the years is the idea of being a doctor, a lawyer, or a nurse. We are trying to move away from that to teach them how to think unconventionally; that is to know that you can be a doctor and also be a fashion designer. You can be a nurse at the same time be an influencer and do multiple things. That is the main aim of holding this program.
“We are teaching our pupils the need to diversify to be able to have other interests or side hustle aside from their academic field. This we do in the school through our enrichment program where we don’t just focus on the education alone, but make sure that we teach them other things like photography, catering, painting, music, etc.,” she said.
The teacher turned proprietress added that the increasing rate of unemployment in the country cannot be unconnected to the career choices people make. “We have so many unemployed youths who are all educated. They have their degrees, they have their certificates, and all that, but have not acquired a skill that can provide jobs for them and make them self-employed. That is the challenge.”
She charged stakeholders in the education sector to give priority attention to entrepreneurial education and skills acquisition in school to give pupils and students the required knowledge to be self-reliant after school. This she believes will reduce the burden on the limited government jobs, thereby reducing youths unemployment in the country. She said “at QRA, we give the best of services and quality education, that is our watchword. Education has been like a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, but we are changing that narrative by making sure that we attend to the needs of individual learners. People learn differently, some learn by seeing, some by doing and some by hearing, we get to accommodate and practice all those things to ensure that our kids learn and parents get value for their money.”
During the career day celebration, the pupils were dressed in different career outfits and displayed the desired careers a took turns to display their desired careers. Some of the kids interviewed said they enjoyed the event, noting that it has shaped their minds on what to do in the future.
This year, the school engaged a visual artist, a musician, and a footballer to show the kids the need to learn a skill aside from their professional academic field.
The highlight of the event was a dance competition and a football exercise.