Don advocates inclusion of skills in education policies


An Entrepreneurship Development Specialist, Dr. Hilary Owamah has advocated education policies and programmes from primary to tertiary level that place high premium on skills rather than mere paper qualifications.
 
He harped on the need for Nigerian undergraduates to acquire useful vocational and technical skills alongside their quest for tertiary institution certificates
 
He said this against the backdrop of employers, who are no longer looking for job seekers with highest grade, but those who have acquired skills and are creative to solve problems during their undergraduate days.

 
According to him: “This is what will bring jobs to the door of a young graduate, not any paper that claims he/she has been certified both in “character and learning”.
 
Owamah, who is an Associate Professor and Acting Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Delta State University, Abraka, Oleh Campus and President, Academic Research and Entrepreneurship Development (A-RED) Initiative made this known during his presentation at a one-day workshop on “Even a Professor Needs a Skill” at an event held at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta State.
   
Listing some of the effects of youth unemployment, he informed that skills could be hard or soft, and that any of them however, could make one self-employed, an entrepreneur or a highly rated employee in an organisation.
 
He advised the students to know that every vacation period is an opportunity to acquire new skills and experience.
 
“Our undergraduates should be encouraged to go to nearby organisations and offer to work for free during holidays in order to acquire skills and experience, as it is no longer news that your university/polytechnic is not going to give you everything you need to get a job after graduation.
 
“Students must therefore grow beyond the proclivity for grades and ensure that their theoretical education finds expression in practical application to life issues,” he said.

At the event, where dignitaries including the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by the Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare.

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Hilary Owamah
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