YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT: A MESSIAH NOT HONOURED IN ITS COUNTRY

​Those who were not hatched from the eggs of yesterday, who have witnessed many rains and seen many matters no longer, ought to be baffled about what has become our inheritance. Life is itself a twist, but how long shall men sit, hands cuffed between their legs like “un-patronised” market women.

We may not overcome our increasing level of unemployment if the youths fail to embrace the reality of the hour. We have been in this for a long time and we ought to have come off better, wiser and stronger. 

The reality of the hour is that youth unemployment is a wake-up call, a blessing in disguise, reminding us daily that we ought to do more than what the school system gives. 

It hurts always that schooling has taken much from many while they have received less in return;  reading and cramming of subjects we do not understand, headless running to do assignments and tests whose scripts end up with “Iya Alakara” whose malnourished income is being dispensed on her child in one glorified institution.

Perhaps, schooling is an opportunity unexploited by those who claim to have passed through it. Hence, some live as though they have not gone to school. The irony is that it is those who teach that learn more while those who have come to learn leave more confused. So much ignorance lies at the bedrock of the very education we have received in school.

That a student after four or five years fails to realize there is more to schooling than reading, that the certificates no longer mattered in this economy of ours. The truth is many fail to adjust to the glaring truth of the present.

Ask students that what is next after service, it is either they go about to look for job and if they could get none, they return for their Masters programme. Such is life, a circle of nowhere.

The education which our heroes past and present received in school gave them entitlement to job after secondary school which at the moment is just a wrong expectation.  It only leaves much to be worried about when being a degree holder is not enough to be a truck driver with Dangote Company.

In comparison, what is the effect of secondary school education on a Nigerian within her geography to a Nigerian studying abroad?  What is the very foundation, value of the educational system we have adopted? How well have those who lord the corridor of our educational system executed policies? 

The totality of education is not just about schooling. Education is a life-long process; it does not end until death. If it were all it takes, why do we have educated illiterates, schooled fools who go through the wheel steering of go for lectures, read, copy, and paste to pass and have a certificate which the Nigerian factors have rendered redundant before its awarding.

The flown-on effects of the messes we have inherited should make us wiser and swift to take necessary steps but our generation appears to want to perish even with the abundance of knowledge.

Our problems are ubiquitous but we have failed to listen to the gentle voices telling us that the world has stopped turning in the direction of only those who go to school. Even those who are not adequately learned seem to do better as a result of exposure on the field of life.

So far, the school system has succeeded in producing “empty-vessels” of graduates every year that cannot defend the certificate they have been awarded.  Some have been made more redundant than when they were admitted into a higher institution. It then becomes a sorry case of, “hopeless go, hopeless come”.

It is high time many embraced acquisition of vocational skills, there is no damage in doing this. If education is a life-long process; schooling is an opportunity (a huge one for those who know how to will its power) which few have to keep them above the line of those who do not have access to it.

And perhaps, things would change if our schooling system is tailored to meet the challenges faced by the 21st century Nigerian student. If the government is saving its head of the blame on skyrocketing level of unemployment by promoting skills, why is the promotion of Entrepreneurship more or less like a parroting-exercise in some quarters? 

Why is it that in many a university glorifying its past the first; the best; the most vibrant; et al, the practical Entrepreneurship receives a funeral fee of #1,500 on the school fees receipt? Who is to blame? The students who have failed to patronize the practical aspect or the management that failed to establish the requirement of it before a student could claim to have come, saw and conquered the General Studies Programme (GSP) Unit? 

The last time I was studied the material, I wondered if those who contributed every chapter of it really meant what they have written or perhaps, copied somewhere.  Is a good tree not known by its fruits?

If many generations of students still feel entitled to a job when they graduate, what about a graduate of English who cannot teach his siblings how to write a letter addressed to the principal of his secondary, who does not even know if it is a formal or an informal letter?  What about a graduate of Communication and Language Arts who cannot write a news story? What about a graduate of Agriculture who does not does not know the processes involved in planting maize? What about a student of History who does not know the history of the University he studies at? What about a graduate of Computer Science who cannot design a website? Yet, they are also graduates!

One cannot continue to wail and berate the government for the genesis of our problems when many have made no rigid attempt after all revelation. As we have come at a good time I must say that I believe our generation is more blessed, we have ample opportunities yet untapped by many.

Those who have assets like laptops, android phones and others only need to put their data to good use to learn something instead of wasting them on some social fools whose social media excesses only lead some to think their own life is useless after all. 

In this age, you can know anything you desire to. A dear friend did not take a step out of her hostel to become a caterer. Ignorance is no bliss here; no whistle blower has to inform anyone about the unemployment mocking us in the face. Do something so that you will not be an addition to the mess when this university bid you adieu.

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