Tuesday, October 15, 2019/ 6:00 PM/ NifemiTaiyese for
Proshare WebTV/ Header Image Credit: @FirstBankngr
The Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has said that every young child in Nigeria, deserves an education and believes that every educated mind is an asset to the country.
She said this as a panellist at the just concluded Nigeria Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, which discussed Nigeria's prospects for emerging a globally competitive economy.
According to her, "Every skilled and empowered person should become an asset to the nation. We need to seek a unified and common position by way of empowering ourselves in a strategic way to achieve our goals".
Awosika advocated a skills-based educational approach that will harness the talents and potentials of the youth in the country.
She advocated a "Club 100" group of young Nigerians that should be engaged by the government to develop an instrumental education and skills development agenda for the nation.
The First Bank Chairman stressed that Nigeria needs to articulate an overall plan for the nation in terms of education, going forward.
Speaking further, she emphasized the need for universities to close the gap between education and what industry requires, including what future industries will be looking for in the average worker of tomorrow.
She cited the example of her recent visit to one of the Federal Universities in the country, where 70% of the students that attended the programme organized by First Bank said they were admitted to study courses that did not match with their passion, talents and career projection.
Awosika believed that the Federal and State Governments could learn from Lagos state that developed a transformational education programme, that retrained teachers and also students with a skills-based approach.
The business coach and entrepreneur decried the fact that there is a shortage of teachers in the country and called for a robust reform agenda for the education sector, which will see over 1 million teachers engaged and equipped to drive a competitive education system.
She suggested that more graduates should receive retraining within 12 weeks on effective teaching methodology.
Awosika called for massive intervention in the nation's education system through a public-private partnership model.
On the prospects for Nigeria in 2050 emerging as a globally competitive nation, she made a strong case for increased investments in education, youth empowerment and gender inclusion.
She also emphasized the need for a national vision and strategy that will be broad-based and consistent over the next 3 decades, without disruptions and devoid of political gridlocks.
According to her "The average Nigerian young person is smart and dynamic, and can easily be retrained."