By Joseph Erunke, Vanguard Newspaper
Former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, has said Nigeria’s education system must be tailored towards creating jobs rather than seeking jobs.
Senator Ndoma-Egba added that education should be backed up with skill acquisition, noting that the world was fast moving past education for seeking jobs.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Start-Right Schools, in Abuja, the politician emphasized the need for the inculcation of an entrepreneurial mindset in students as according to him, “education now is about creating jobs.”
Recall that Start-Right School was established in 2008 by his late wife, Amaka Ndoma-Egba, in her determination to contribute her quota to the nation’s education sector.
The renowned legal luminary, who insisted that people were in an era where education is for creating jobs, noted that: “The wealth of a nation is not in their natural resources, not in their oil, not in their forex.”
According to him, “the wealth of a nation is in their young men and women and their wealth is only if they are educated.”
He said: “Education for jobs is going out of fashion. We are now in an era where we have education for creating jobs. So our education today must be geared towards creating jobs and not seeking jobs.
“That is why here, we are working together with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to see if we can introduce entrepreneurship. The foundation is supporting us in the realization of this. We want to believe that by the time we have trained our students in entrepreneurship, they will go into the world not seeking jobs but creating jobs for others,” he said.
He advised the graduating students to strive to be the best among their peers, stressing that they have the potential to be the best among their peers.
Also speaking at the occasion, the principal of Start-Right Schools, Mr. Femi Akinlade, described the occasion as a milestone in its 15 years of existence.
“It’s a milestone because while we always graduate pupils from primary school, this is the first graduation from secondary school.
“The school started as an early-year primary school in 2008 but it was in 2018 that the secondary school was birthed. It was actually the project that brought me from Lagos and then the first principal from Saudi Arabia. This is the first set of students that we groomed from the beginning. They have done very well. They have written the IGCSE examination and they did very well, they have written JAMB and they also did very well. Almost all of them have secured admission both at home and abroad,” he said.
“Start-Right Schools also has a scholarship program for the top students. When we write the entrance examination, students who scored 90 percent, usually, work out scholarship arrangements for them.
“Then, there is the Victor and Amaka Ndoma-Egba Foundation, VANEF, which works to help out students who are not very privileged to be able to have some form of education.
“We also partner with entities like Elumelu Foundation, who has also given a lot of money both to the school and to VANEF to be able to help the underprivileged.”
Mr. Akinlade, speaking further, advised the federal administration to leverage technology so that everyone can access education.
He also advised the graduating students to follow the path of other students that graduated from the school in the past years.
A parent in the school, Mrs. Julie Abaribe, also a friend of the late Mrs. Amaka Ndoma-Egba, described the school as unique.
Noting that the school was unique in its way of raising students on leadership training, she said: “One of the things that I like about the school is the fact that it is not just academics all the way.
“The children are taught how to find their skills themselves and their talents, especially in the world of today.
“The world of today is all about being diversified in whatever you are doing, so the school is based on that, where education is key but also skills of life is key.”
Abaribe advised the federal government to create opportunities for children in public schools so that they can have some of the opportunities those in government today had during their growing up days.
“For the graduating class, I would say this is our test and we will improve more. So whatever has been instilled in them in Start-Right Schools, they should take it up all the way because they can stand out anywhere in the world because they have never been limited, they have been exposed to what is being done all over the world,” she added.