BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Entrepreneurial education programs aimed at empowering youths in Nigeria have grown in recent years. Gone are the days of the oil boom in the 1970s, when a graduate could readily find work in any available position. However, all of this changed in the mid-1980s, as a result of global depression and a substantial recession in Nigeria’s economy. This resulted in widespread unemployment around the world, most notably in emerging nations like Nigeria (Babatunde & Babatunde 2014).
As a result of the high unemployment rate, societal vices such as armed robbery and abduction for ransom flourished. More recently, the global economic catastrophe has resulted in skyrocketing young and graduate unemployment. Various governmental and non-governmental organizations have initiated policies to address unemployment among Nigerian citizens through support agencies such as the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), the Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), and the Raw Materials and Development Council (RMRDC), among others (Olayinka 2010, Emmanuel 2012, Akluemonkhan, Raimi & Sofoluwe 2013).
The purpose of these programs, agencies, and councils was to develop self-employment and small business initiatives in order to unlock people’s economic potentials, increase society’s capacity to empower and equip individuals to participate in and benefit from the national economy, and facilitate economic development, which lays the groundwork for transformation (Ekpo & Edet 2011 in Babatunde & Babatunde 2014). To be sure, in accordance with the theme of the 1991 National Productivity Day, “Productivity for Self-Reliance and Excellence,” the Nigerian government introduced entrepreneurship education in schools as a means of instilling in students a sense of self-sufficiency, self-sustainability, and self-support.
The objective is to guarantee that graduates utilize their inherent resourcefulness to become self-employed. This is because entrepreneurship is the relentless pursuit of opportunities to create wealth through the innovative creation of a product or service that meets the needs of customers, while utilizing limited resources in a way that results in a growing enterprise that meets the expectations of stakeholders whose roles sustain the business (Babatunde & Babatunde 2014). Entrepreneurship education equips students with the information, skills, attitudes, and motivation necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs in any situation. It enables individuals to pursue investment possibilities (Azonuche & Umeri, 2012). The research intends to analyze entrepreneurial education and self-reliance among youth across the country in this respect.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been noticed that historically, university education lacked the requisite information and skills for substantial economic development, relying instead on white collar jobs that are not easily available following graduation (Emeka, 2012). With the Nigerian economy in such bad shape, exacerbated by the dwindling price of crude oil on the world market, which is the country’s primary source of revenue, there is an urgent need to position the curriculum or education of Nigerian universities to stimulate economic growth and development through the production of graduates with entrepreneurial skills.
According to Obasi (2015), graduates are created on a yearly basis to work in the official sector of the Nigerian economy, with minimal emphasis on graduate entrepreneurship. The public, particularly industry participants (employers and human resource managers), observes that the majority of graduates in Nigeria lack specific characteristics that boost their success on the job shortly after graduation. The primary cause for this view is a lack of coordination between university faculties and industry/employment. Underpinning the unemployment crisis is the fact that university education has been insufficient in educating students with the necessary skills and competencies for job creation and self-employment.
This attitude of the majority of employers in Nigeria has made it difficult for many young graduates to acquire jobs, since practically all job adverts in the mass media want candidates with a variety of work experience and abilities.
As previously stated, Nigeria’s skills deficit continues to be a significant impediment. Over 80% of graduates in Nigeria remain jobless, despite their degrees (Nwaoga & Omeke, 2012). Unemployment in Nigeria appears to be a labor market conundrum, owing to a persistent skills shortage and skills mismatch. The skills gap among graduates (from postsecondary education) is viewed as a limitation on long-run economic growth and a factor in the occurrence of unemployment among graduates. Graduates lack general competences and are unprepared for the workforce. Thus, graduate unemployment has surely developed into a gigantic national cankerworm that every administration must deal with (Obasi 2015). As a result, the majority of businesses recruit recent graduates who studied in relevant subjects as trainees for a number of years before deciding whether to hire them on a full-time or casual basis.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine education for entrepreneurship and self reliance. Specifically, other aims of this study are:
i. To investigate whether there is a link between entrepreneurial education and self-sufficiency.
ii. To investigate the factors that affect self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education.
iii. To determine whether entrepreneurial education has contributed to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths.
iv. To determine the effect of entrepreneurial education on youths.
The following researchquestions which are in line with the objectives of this study will be answered:
i. Is there a link between entrepreneurial education and self-sufficiency?
ii. What are the factors that affect self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education?
iii. Has entrepreneurial education contributed to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths?
iv. What are the effects of entrepreneurial education on youths?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The relevance of this study is that it emphasizes the critical need for entrepreneurial education and self-reliance among youths throughout Nigeria, by focusing on the educational system, tactics, and the resulting social developmental influence on the society.
The study emphasizes the country’s education problems and their equivalence to poverty levels in the society as a result of a lack of employment or knowledge of how to start businesses; the result is a society that fosters healthy collaboration and motivation, thereby affecting the nation’s development.
However, the contribution of this research to knowledge identifies what is critical for Nigerian youths and the economy, namely qualitative entrepreneurial education that is focused on the needs of youths, particularly during this period of unemployment, rather than the United Nations resolution to increase budgetary details and the number of people who attend school. This is not the first study on entrepreneurial education and self-reliance; however, it adds to the body of knowledge in the field and highlights the findings in order to ascertain which strategy would ultimately work for the youths of Nigeria in terms of truly eradicating unemployment.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study examines education for entrepreneurship and self reliance. The study is specifically focused on investigating whether there is a link between entrepreneurial education and self-sufficiency, investigating the factors that affect self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education, determining whether entrepreneurial education has contributed to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths and determining the effect of entrepreneurial education on youths.
This study used students of the University of Jos as its respondents.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
As is the case with any human endeavor, the researcher encountered minor setbacks while conducting the study. Due to the scarcity of literature on the subject as a result of the discourse’s nature, the researcher incurred additional financial costs and spent additional time locating pertinent materials, literature, or information, as well as during the data collection process, which is why the researcher chose a small sample size. Additionally, the researcher pursued this investigation alongside other intellectual endeavors. Additionally, because the research instrument was completed by a limited number of respondents, the findings cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Regardless of the constraints encountered during the study, every area was minimized to provide the greatest outcomes and most effective research.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Education: Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Education originated as transmission of cultural heritage from one generation to the next.
Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the creation or extraction of value. With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones.