Entrepreneurial Education And Self Reliance
The study examines entrepreneurial education as a tool for reducing unemployment in Nigeria. Specific objectives are; To find out if entrepreneurial education has been a useful tool for reducing unemployment in Nigeria, To ascertain if there is compulsory entrepreneurial education for all students in Nigerian higher institutions and To find out if the available entrepreneurship education in institution can stimulate entrepreneurship skills in future graduates.
In the methodology, data used for the study was gathered through primary sources (questionnaire). Sampling technique was used to select 200 students from the entire population of 300 and 400 students of Uniuyo. The data to be obtained out there in the field shall be presented in a tabular form and analyzed through the use of a mean and standard deviation. However, the statistical took employed to test the earlier stated hypotheses study is chi-squared. Findings from the study revealed that, Lack of educational centers for learning and improving issues within entrepreneurship – like knowledge and information about different markets – seems to be a significant reason for the lower motivation of UNIUYO students. Nigeria’s educational system will continue to fail, as long as long as more focus is put on how many schools are built, than the effectiveness of the schools being built. The outcome of this study will bring to the fore the crucial need for entrepreneurial education in Nigeria, putting more consideration on the educational system, strategies and its eventual social developmental effect in the society.
1.1 Background of Study
The activities of entrepreneurial education in the empowerment of youths in Nigeria have increased overtime. Gone are those days during the era of oil-boom back in the 1970s when a graduate gets easily absorbed into any available job vacancies. But all these changed in the mid-1980s, with worldwide depression and significant depression in the Nigeria’s economy. This resulted in unemployment around the world, most especially developing countries such as Nigeria.
The outcome of the high rate of unemployment was social vices like armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom. More recent is the global economic meltdown that led to youth and graduate unemployment to hit the roof. In this regards, various governmental and non-governmental organizations have initiated policies through support agencies such as National Directorate for Employment (NDE), the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Raw Materials and Development Council (RMRDC) among others to address the problems of unemployment among Nigerian citizens (Olayinka 2010, Emmanuel 2012, Akluemonkhan, Raimi and Sofoluwe 2013).
The aim of these programmes, agencies and councils was with the belief that the development of self-employment and small enterprise initiatives would unlock the economic potentials of the people increase the capacity to empower and equip individuals in society to participate and benefit from their national economy as well as facilitates economic development which forms the bases for transformation (Ekpo and Edet 2011 in Babatunde and Babatunde 2014). Admittedly, in line with the National Productively Day of 21st February, 1991 theme of “Productivity for Self-Reliance and Excellence”, the Nigeria government introduced entrepreneurship education in schools as a pathway to stimulate self-sufficiency, self-sustainability and self-support culture in students.
The aim is to ensure graduates take advantage of personal resourcefulness to be self-employed. This is because entrepreneurship concerns the persistent pursuit of opportunities to create wealth through innovative creation of a product or service that meets customers’ needs, using score resources in a way that results in a growth enterprise which satisfies the expectation of stakeholders whose roles sustain the business. Entrepreneurship education provides knowledge, skills attitude and motivation to students for entrepreneurial success in any setting. It equips people with the ability to seek investment opportunities (Azonuche and Umeri, 2012). The study in this regard wishes to examine entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youth in akwa Ibom state.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
What really instigated the study on entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youth in Akwa Ibom state was as a result of high crime rate and unemployment in akwa Ibom state. The rate of unemployment has significantly affected the socio-economic well being of the youth in Nigeria (Okon, 2004). Most research has been done on entrepreneurial education but just very few have been done on entrepreneurial education and self-reliance in Nigeria.
Previous studies have failed to identify the causes of poor self-reliance among youths in Nigeria; the effect is seen mostly among graduates in Nigeria.
1.3 Aims and Objectives Of Study
The main aim of the research is to examine entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State. Other specific objectives of the study include:
- To examine the relationship between entrepreneurial education and self-reliance
- To determine the effect of entrepreneurial education on well being of youths in Akwa Ibom State
- To determine the contribution of entrepreneurial education to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths in Akwa Ibom State.
- To investigate on the factors affecting self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education in Akwa Ibom State.
- To proffer solution to the above stated problem
1.4 Research Questions
The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
- What is the relationship between entrepreneurial education and self-reliance?
- What is the effect of entrepreneurial education on well being of youths in Akwa Ibom State?
- What are the contribution of entrepreneurial education to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths in Akwa Ibom State?
- What are the factors affecting self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education in Akwa Ibom State?
1.5 Statement of Research Hypothesis
H0: Entrepreneurial education does not influence self-reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State
H1: Entrepreneurial education influences self-reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State
1.6 Significance of Study
The significance of this study brings to the fore the crucial need for entrepreneurial education and self reliance in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria as a whole, putting more consideration on the educational system, strategies and its eventual social developmental effect in the society.
The study highlights the problems of the level of education in the country and its equivalence to level of poverty in the society by virtue of lack of employment or knowledge of how to startup businesses; the resultant effect of which is a society that breeds healthy partnership and motivation, impacting on the development in the nation.
However, the contribution of this research work to knowledge identifies what is important to the youths and the economy of Nigeria, which is qualitative entrepreneurial education focused on the needs of the youths especially during this period of unemployment, rather than the resolution of the United Nations to increase budgetary details, increasing the people that go through school. This is not the study on entrepreneurial education and self reliance; however, it contributes to the body of literature on the subject area and brings to light the results in order to ascertain which strategy would eventually work for the youths in akwa Ibom state in truly eradicating unemployment in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of Study
The study examines the role of entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State, its significance in the stimulation of the entrepreneurship skills in future graduates in order to reduce unemployment in Nigeria. The study considered the undergraduates of the current university teaching system (University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State), from third to the final year, assumably those who gained admission into the university in the last three (3) years. The study considers entrepreneurial skills of undergraduate to be relevant because of its immediate impact on the future of Nigeria.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It is not impossible that when a university provides adequate instruction and creative inspiration for entrepreneurship, the possibility of choosing an entrepreneurial career might increase among young people. This is crucial in economies that are as open as Nigeria’s economy.
As Wu (2008) states, engineering students have the highest tendency to start a business. Thus, it seems that academic environments should provide applied practical learning environments to complement academic exercises or case study approaches Bell, Callaghan, & Demick, (2004) to increase student understanding of market knowledge.
Persuading business-oriented teamwork or improving the relationship between the university and industry, for example, could be tools for developing such projects. It is possible to argue that universities that are interested in fostering and motivating students to embrace entrepreneurial activities should provide educational courses focusing on entrepreneurship and business. Lack of educational centers for learning and improving issues within entrepreneurship – like knowledge and information about different markets – seems to be a significant reason for the lower motivation of UNIUYO students.
We see that the possibility of raising entrepreneurial interest in students is a crucial embankment the Nigerian educational policies should integrate. The systems of education in Nigeria should elevate beyond the ability to read and write, to ability to create, build, rebuild and maintain systems and structures, as these are critical ingredients of an entrepreneur’s mind.
We cannot overemphasize the need for the government to boost funding for the universities in order for facilities necessary for adequate education to be done in the universities; however, it is crucial for the universities to have a conscientious goal towards developing entrepreneurs. The system of recruiting lecturers should be focused on this need as lecturing is fast becoming a form of employment, rather than a need to impact the rising generation of youths.
As of now, the Federal government has failed in recognizing that increasing the number of higher institutions in the country does not solve the problem of unemployment, or development, but the focus of education should be re-engineered in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s educational system will continue to fail, as long as long as more focus is put on how many schools are built, than the effectiveness of the schools being built. I believe it is important to also note that with the world’s economy being crunched down, many businesses will run out and fold up, and Nigeria in her staggering conditions will kneel to its hazards, if individuals are not developed to create and maintain fluid businesses that will stand the tests of its economic environments.
Some reports, like the Next Generation Report (2010), earlier referred to in this research, explains that the Nigeria youth is a huge resource for the nation, in the areas that the Nigerian youth can be educated and in no strange words be “exported”. This is well wrapped up in languages that make it seem like Nigeria will generate a lot of revenue from the human resource they provide as ‘baby boomers’. This implies that Nigeria will continue to raise youths that can only ‘read and write’, only ready as human resource exports. This is because Nigeria cannot cater for the number of graduates churned out of universities all over the country currently and even each year. This is the reason the government must seek to bring about a lasting solution to inhibit the outflow of resources, especially human resources, so that they can become an integral part of the society to build the nation. And the Federal government and educational policymakers should not treat the youths as another export, like they do oil.
According to our results, policy makers and educators at universities might encourage self employment by improving entrepreneurial objectives, attitudes, and entrepreneurial self efficacy in management, finance, and marketing (Pihie, 2009).
As a developing country, Nigeria needs to focus more on the programs run in the universities; the Nigerian universities commission should integrate the criteria of accreditation of university courses from just the availability of classrooms, tables and chairs, to a level of facilities that inspire the youth mind to build businesses. Evidently, the NUC has regulated policies as the entrepreneurship development centers being created in each university, but the implementation strategies of the centers should also be looked into.
UNIUYO graduates may very well stand out in the economy, as the focus of education is built into the aim and objectives of the university, and every member of staff consequently follows this through. The different Entrepreneurial Development programs setup by the university and made compulsory as a course from the first year till graduation are not necessarily the crafts the students developed as businesses, but the consciousness of how to see a need in an environment and creatively find a profitable solution to it.
We have to recognize that the effect of education supersedes the education itself and goes onto forming an ideology, and creating a concept in the minds of the learner subconsciously to build a future that inadvertently creates a new environment.
- There should be a working partnership between industry and the universities. This could be encouraged if the government would give incentives such as tax returns or tax cuts for every organization that involves in the partnership.
- Lecturers should have field and industry experience in the fields which they profess to be experts, as theoretical experiences and ideology of the academia possibly reduces exposure to idealistic, rather than realistic perspectives.
- Universities should be mandated by policy to pattern their entrepreneurship development and entrepreneurial education after the model that works out creativity in the students and not just theoretical practices of entrepreneurial development.
- The government should strategize how public universities can become an entrepreneurial development hub, rather than create more universities that would increase overhead and bring little or no solution, and for the government to concentrate on the results of education, rather than the counts of the educated.
- Universities should base and aggregate their success on how many of their are able to create businesses and stand, instead of how many can get jobs, because true education is judged on the ability to apply and transform knowledge, not just reproduction of the same knowledge.
- Judging by the statistics of youth population in Nigeria, the government should focus development more on the youth age group than on primary education as regulated by the UN Education policies.
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