Ex-NUC scribe urges pragmatic, policy-impacting solutions to stem graduate unemployment

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In the midst of rising graduate unemployment in the country, former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, says sharing interdisciplinary knowledge and experiences, and enunciation of pragmatic and policy impacting solutions could be the way out.

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Speaking at the Fafunwa Educational Foundation (FEF) Yearly Conference, which this year dwelt on the topic, “Tackling the Problem of Unemployment in Nigeria,” Okebukola, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the foundation, expressed great concern over the high rate of joblessness plaguing the nation.

He said the theme for this year’s conference was based on the foundation’s conviction that Nigeria requires practical and holistic approaches, with result-oriented partnerships among all stakeholders to tackle unemployment.

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The former acting vice chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), therefore urged scholars, entrepreneurs across different disciplines to bring their expertise to bear to solve this menace.

“All stakeholders must converge and share interdisciplinary knowledge and experiences that will reflect not only in the truly diverse manifestations and implications of unemployment in the country, but also give plausible, pragmatic and policy impacting solutions.”

Activities for the conference, which began Tuesday, at the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), will end tomorrow with the presentation of best practice awards in education.

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Okebukola said the award is among other things, aimed at rewarding, honouring, and appreciating states with best policies and excellent performances towards educational advancements.

Head, Academic Committee of the foundation, Prof. Kayode Alao, said, “The country’s education system is dying. We have to think outside the box on what will work. Let us move away from theory to practical. For every 10 Nigerian graduates, nine and a half do not get employment. This is an indicator that the country is in trouble. Graduates are becoming armed robbers and it is not business as usual. What we taught students in the 1960s and 1980s is in the curriculum we are still using in our universities now.

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“We must change, everything must change and no change will be meaningful unless it starts with, or in the school system. In future, the FEF will be engaging the Nigerian society more directly in the realm of attitudinal change. In future, the school system will be involved in changing the generic attitude destroying the fabric of the Nigerian nation.”

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