First class: Graduation makes No sense without skills, says Kwasu professor.
The Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University, KWASU, Malete, Prof. Muhammed Mustapha says;
“Graduating students with first class grades without job enabling skills makes no sense.”
The Vice-Chancellor explains;
It is pointless for universities in the country to graduate first class students who will later become jobless.
They will become jobless because they don’t have additional job-enabling skills.
Earlier, the International Labour Organization, ILO, canvased for suitable-skill-oriented for better future work.
Prof. Akanbi, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said that KWASU in its effort to provide a solution to the jobless situation many Nigeria youths found themselves after graduation, decided to make it a norm to produce graduates that are readily engaged in one job-enabling skills/trade or the other before and after graduation.
KWASU already has an existing centre for entrepreneurship and would soon roll out academic programmes that ensure all its students are exposed to state-of-the-art skills in computing and at the same time understand at least one foreign language to prepare them for the 21st century’s challenges.
According to the former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, UNILORIN;
“Our university is a university of community development and entrepreneurship.
I like the fact that you appreciate what we are doing with entrepreneurship;
That centre is being rejigged and rejuvenated.
It is now called the centre for vocational, technical and entrepreneurship because we don’t want to teach entrepreneurship just in theory.
We get our students involved in vocational things and technical aspects.
“Already, we encourage our students to engage in different entrepreneurial skills, acquire, hold and consider all certificates important.
It does not make any sense if you are a first-class student and you are looking for a job. And I mean First class in any programme.”
Prof. Akanbi said KWASU, renowned for its entrepreneurial prowess, has a programme that makes it mandatory for every student to own a business.
He said, “You will see students engage in things like making face masks, face shields, hand sanitizers, some are into tailoring, some are into carpentry, some are into what I call mechanical automobile repair and things like that.
And in the past, the CAC has given awards to our students because we are talking of every year almost 2,000 students registering with the CAC because when you come in, it is expected that it is not going to be only a classroom thing.”
The Prof expresses readiness to reposition the University for better performance.
About his plans for Kwasu, he says; “My plan is to move KWASU to a lofty height better than I found it.
And to achieve this broad mandate, I intend to ensure a conducive learning environment.
I also intend to pursue quality-based research.
One of the things we want to encourage is that research should not just be for research sake.
We don’t want our research work to end up on the shelves.
Our research would be geared towards finding solutions to contemporary challenges.”
Students To start small businesses
He said the University has expressed its readiness to ensure its students participate more actively in the nation’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, sub-sector.
He added that the University would leverage on the recently amended Companies.
And Allied Matters Act, CAMA, to ensure the institution’s students float more businesses.
He said, “Every student that gets admitted into KWASU is expected to start business, a registered business.
“President Buhari just assented to the new CAMA after about 30years and that had helped the quality of the ease of doing business.
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KWASU policies in this new CAMA is going to help to ensure that our students register a business enterprise, like a trade which you will register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) so that what we teach you in class you are able to start it while in school.
“You will see students engaged in things such as making face masks, face shields, hand sanitizers.
Some are into tailoring, some are into carpentry, some are into what I call mechanical automobile repair and things like that.”
Prof. Akanbi said that students of KWASU have on several occasions won awards from CAC as a result of their business acumen.
“I have just been reminded that in the past the CAC has given awards to our students because we are talking of every year almost 2,000 students registering with the CAC,
This is because when you come in it is expected that it is not going to be only a classroom thing; so we take you through some technical, some provisional, some pure business enterprises,” he added.
The VC said the motive behind the University’s entrepreneurship scheme is to raise an army of graduates who are job creators instead of those that would be in need of employment after graduation.
“The plan is that we don’t want students who will graduate and go and meet their parents that they are looking for a job.
We want a wealth creator, we are not looking for students who just want to work in government sector but students who can start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs in their own rights,”