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Why graduates need to be self employed

By Muhammad Adamu Wakili Education remains the most important tool for behavioural reform and economic emancipation. It is not only a leveler in the society,…

By Muhammad Adamu Wakili

Education remains the most important tool for behavioural reform and economic emancipation. It is not only a leveler in the society, it is the only legacy parents or country can bequeath their children and citizens. The importance of education can never be overstretched. It covers everything. In fact, it is everything. Both the rich and the poor pursue knowledge. The world would have been nothing without knowledge. Human beings would have been nothing without education.

It is important to state however that going to school is not an automatic way to securing jobs (either white, grey, green or blue collar) after graduation. Our society believes that automatic employment from government or private sector should follow graduation. Unlike in the past when the Nigerian economy was stable, this notion is no longer true. The mentality of running after good grades in school for the purpose of securing jobs after graduation is unfortunate. Pursuing knowledge is the ultimate. With a good knowledge of your field of study and a layman knowledge of fields outside your field of study, the sky will be the beginning of one’s greatness. With these, one will create, innovate and solve societal problems through one’s space of influence. In return, one will smile to the bank.
The first and major thing education should do in a person is behavioural reform. Everyone should be able to see and say that one is educated through one’s behaviour. One’s actions, decisions making process and choices should reflect behavioural reform.

Secondly, as an educated fellow, securing a government or private job is a plus. If this does not come or has not come, look deep into your wealth of knowledge and figure out what you can do. Humanity needs your ingenuity. Skills and skill acquisition are and have always been key. Any skill or trade one has, your education should boost your chance of success in it.

Everything in today’s world is packaging. Also, your personality comes into play. There is no skill that is not fruitful. Shoemaking, hairstyling, tailoring, farming, catering, food and beverages among others are examples of viable skills. Packaging water in plain nylon (ice water) used to be the order of the day. Later on, sachet and table water took over. All is packaging. What we are taking still remains water packaged in different forms. This is a huge source of income which is a product of innovation that is made possible by education. Other examples of these are numerous out there.

Shoemaking, for instance, is a cool business. Everyone wears shoes. Someone, somewhere makes shoes for presidents, governors, lawmakers, ministers, commissioners and other well-to-do people. These persons are shoemakers just like the common ones in your neighbourhood. The difference is that they package their businesses, which is the edge education will give you over others who are in the same line of business with you.
Tailoring and fashion design is another skill. Just like shoemaking, everyone wears clothes. The person that sews these clothes is a tailor. With education, you will be able to think and proffer solutions to what others see to be difficult. salaried does not guarantee success. In today’s world, one cannot succeed with just one source of income. Every paid job has a retirement date while one’s established skill or trade continues after one’s exit.

Students in institutions of higher learning must acquire at least, a skill or trade and start practicing it even before graduation. Parents should also enrol their children or wards (in secondary schools) in skills acquisition centres to prepare them for the tasks ahead. Those in paid jobs should not sit comfortably. They should acquire skills or start a trade before they reach their retirement dates. This will ensure a continual inflow of income and a good inheritance for their dependants.

Dr Wakili is the Registrar Iheris University, Togo.