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Employment: Buhari tasks universities to develop new curriculum

President Muhammadu Buhari has said there must be a paradigm shift in the focus and orientation of Nigerian graduates. Buhari said this at the 11th…

President Muhammadu Buhari has said there must be a paradigm shift in the focus and orientation of Nigerian graduates.

Buhari said this at the 11th Convocation of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), on Saturday in Abuja.

He said it is pertinent to restate that the nation’s educational curriculum begets towards placing emphasis in entrepreneurship education.

“It is pleasing to note that the National Universities Commission is about to conclude the comprehensive review of the curricula of all programmes in our universities placing a premium on entrepreneurship. This we all know is a driver to increase productivity and reduction in figure amongst others,” he said.

Represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education David Gende, Buhari said the federal government through various interventions has created an enabling environment to support the drive.

He maintained that his administration is committed to making education affordable to all through open distance learning, saying, “In this connection the national policy on education has provided for lifelong learning that transcends all barriers through open and distance learning.”

“It is our hope that our graduates will utilise these opportunities to embrace all the various programmes that have been put in place. I salute the effort of the NOUN management and governing council for making sure that government funds released to the university is judiciary utilised in erecting top class facilities as exemplified in the campus,” he said.

In his remark, the Pro-Chancellor, NOUN, Emeritus Prof. Peter Okebukola, commended the president for assenting to the National Open University Amendment Act.

He said: “This singular act of Mr. President did not only elevate the legal status and the quality of the delivery system of NOUN. NOUN has slightly over 1,500 of its law graduands attending the Nigeria Law School and reports reaching us indicate that our students are performing excellently.”

He said this, no doubt erases the negative perception by the general public that Open and Distance education is inferior to the conventional face to face University education.

“The age-long discrimination against eligible NOUN graduates to participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), unfortunately is still but I am pleased to informed Mr. President that discussions are on-going to address the matter,” he said.

Speaking, Vice Chancellor, Prof Olufumi Peters, said a total number of 22,250 graduating students have passed the prescribed examinations and have accordingly been judged worthy in character and learning to receive their degrees across various disciplines.

“At the undergraduate level, a total of 16,679 students are graduating, out of which 69 students are in the First-Class Division: 4,327 students in the 2nd Class Upper Division: 9,499 students in the Second Class Lower Division and 2,700 students in the Third Class Division and 84 students with pass degrees,” he said.

He said the global economy is in utter crisis and for new graduates this causes anxiety instead of hope, joy and confidence.

The VC asked the graduates not to despair, saying, “I am of the firm and believe that those who will make it in the new normal are those who have the benefit of the training that you have received. The circumstances may be challenging, but I encourage you to remain resolute because you have been empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.”

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