“We Can Become Better Than China”—Experts tell Nigerian youths

By Onyekere Ifeanyi – The Sight News

Enugu: Nigerian youths have been charged to shun illegal means of getting rich, and acquire vocational trainings and skills, in order to contribute to economic and personal growth 

The Department for International Development (DFID) South-East/South-South regional coordinator, Olachi Chuks Ronnie made the call in Enugu during a forum by Baywood Foundation to commemorate the 2019 International Youth Day with the theme “Transforming Education” held at Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Enugu. 

Speaking on the sub-theme “Role of Private Sector in Transforming Education Beyond Rhetoric”,  Olachi stressed that Nigerian youth should focus on vocational trainings and skill acquisition in lieu of fixation on certificates.

According to Olachi, “China and the USA  got where they are today because entrepreneurs and private sectors started driving their economy. You can do better than them when you look inwards and use what you have and what you can do. If you don’t have any, it’s never late to learn”.

Earlier in a goodwill message, a member of the organizing committee and panel discussant, Mrs Kobi Ikpo charged youths to enhance their capacity and equip themselves with available relevant tools and resources. 

She said that some countries including Africans such as Rwanda are being ruled by youths. In her words, “Don’t sit and blame government rather, think on how you can solve problems and even employ others. Utilize your long vacations to learn and get work experience. Do self-development, and as an apprentice, the first virtue is: be trustworthy.”

Similarly, Mr. Obinna Nebo of New Century Initiative remarked that Nnewi town in Anambra state is markedly producing more billionaires because of a long culture of apprenticeship.

In his words, “Think and learn how to solve problems. You can think on how to make more sales for a company. The world is moving from rhetoric to tangible. Shun get-rich-quick syndrome. You need ideas not certificates and money”.

Contributing, a tech-company CEO and discussant, Miss Ebere Okoye pointed out that private sector could contribute to education sector by providing educators with technical know-how free of charge to schools. 

 

A lawyer and lecturer in the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Mr. Obinna Ede however pointed out, that some youths are suffering from ‘mental-poverty’ which he said, “is linked to lack of seriousness, poor character to work and ethics, and insults to serious persons as being too serious”.

A participating student, Mr. Michael Okoro, suggested that private stakeholders in education sector should forge a practical-driven curricular rather than the current prevalent theoretical curricular.

International Youth Day is commemorated on August 12 every year in order  to promote better awareness about situation of youths in their country. 

The theme of this year’s IYD hinges on the number four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG #4) which highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youths, including efforts by the youths themselves.

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