Prof. Oka Obono of the Department of Sociology and Population Study, University of Ibadan, has provided a template for sustainable education to tackle unemployment and insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
Obono, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan, described insecurity, unemployment, electoral violence and family organisation as lack of value by which the society could maintain social order without police interference.
According to him, these challenges are surmountable, if the present educational structure can be restructured.
He said that some of these challenges stemmed from the historical issues of change and the traditional socio-political system into a democratic one.
“With this, you will make progress in some areas and in other areas, you will find flaws,” Obono said.
The lecturer faulted the use of western curricula in the nation’s education system, describing it as the beginning of the failure of the sector.
He said: “When you start teaching formally with scripts that come from the Euro-American model, that education must be grounded in the ethos of the recipient culture, formerly subjugated by colonisation.
“There would be the change that you do not seek.
“What you can do to tackle it is to look at the emergent culture and structure of the society. How do you restructure it? ”
Obono said that to reduce graduate unemployment in Nigeria, the current educational system must be changed, such that it does not disconnect from the family, politics, that is, governance and the labour market.
“For instance, Engineering, should be structured differently, instead of teaching things that we cannot see the products of.
“`We have brilliant young boys and girls who can do it, but because the structure does not produce that kind of inspiration, the products are not there.
“What if we told them that for the next 10 years, let us drop 50 per cent of your curriculum or 30 per cent and focus on the mass production of quality solar panels, inverters and batteries.
“And, it is part of your training to look at the market and show how you can export this in West Africa.
“First of all, it is a fine idea that is going to render service and it is a green energy that would provide jobs.
“When these students graduate, they will graduate into employment,” he said.
Obono said that each discipline should be structurally linked to the labour market to reduce unemployment.
According to him, security challenges can be addressed if majority of Nigerians is composed of young persons, then, the allocation of resources should reflect that.
“This is what I mean when I say democracy should follow the demography.
“Young people are predominantly supposed to be in school in training; then, the allocation of resources to the educational sector should reflect that.’’
Obono, who is also the President of Yakurr Academic Society, said that his inaugural lecture would hold on Dec. 15, 2022 at the university.
The theme of the lecture is: “The Double Descent of Ethnodemography”.
“What it does is to compel us to produce solutions that are contextualised immediately.
“When you take the word ‘ethno’ and add it to any discipline, including mathematics or psychology, you will find out that you are using the principal.
“An idea of that discipline is to speak to the immediate need of the immediate environment,” he said. (NAN)