Education Headline News Special Report

Building entrepreneurial capacity of Teachers

One of the policies thrust of the present Administration over time has been the repositioning of Nigeria’s economy in such a way that the country can return to its former glory.

The entire concept revolves around making Nigeria a producing nation, with a focus on encouraging citizens to purchase goods manufactured in the country.

It is critical to note that in order for the economy to grow, local content, particularly women and youths, must be equipped with necessary skills and engaged in the production of basic items needed in the country.

As previously stated, the government has continued to strengthen expertise in critical sectors so that core agencies can carry out their mandate of reinvigorating entrepreneurship skills.

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria- SMEDAN, the Industrial Training Fund- ITF, the National Directorate of Employment-NDE, and other skills and empowerment agencies, for example, have stepped up and designed action plans to build the entrepreneurship capacity of Nigerians, particularly women and youths.

The various action plans are consistent with what is achieved in advanced countries where young people are trained to be leaders.

The fundamental objective of entrepreneurship development hinges on lifting people out of poverty and by extension, boosting the productive base of local economies; which is the yardstick for development.

In climes where entrepreneurship development has been deeply entrenched, the teachers or lecturers are better placed to inculcate business ideas into students.

This is the way to go, if Nigeria wants to pull citizens out of the present economic doldrums.

Good enough, agencies of Government have introduced several programmes to achieve a society driven by entrepreneurship skills.

These programmes must accommodate teachers at all levels since they are the first point of contact within the learning environment.

Interestingly, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN for instance has embarked on capacity building for Teachers under the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme.

Basically, the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme was designed to enhance the capacity of teachers who will in turn prepare students to become entrepreneurs.

The teachers will also be expected to help students identify their potential early enough in order to value wealth creating possibilities through creativity and innovations.

It is important to note that the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship programme is driven on two platforms: The National School Entrepreneurship programme for Primary and Secondary Schools and the Tertiary Institutions Development Programme that has the buy-in of critical stakeholders in the Education Sector.

The programme must be stepped down in schools across states to ultimately prepare teachers to embrace entrepreneurial attitudes and knowledge so that they can help students turn ideas into products.

The approach to its implementation must be multi-level and multi-sectoral, as state governments including critical agencies must draw inspiration from SMEDAN’s initiative to sufficiently support teachers with basic entrepreneurial knowledge.

According to a recent prediction by the World Bank, an additional forty million people will join the economically active group by 2040 in Sub Saharan Africa.

The Bank points to the fact that there are no way regular paying jobs will cope with the number of people entering the employment market, hence the need for young people to embrace entrepreneurship skills.

Consequently, young minds must be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation and wealth creation.

To this end, teachers will equally require necessary training to drive entrepreneurship development in schools across the country.

Writing by Awuhe Terfa; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare