The ivory towers in the nation must facilitate productive collaboration between tertiary institutions and the industry to cater for the training needs of the drivers of the global knowledge economy and tackle the ravaging challenge of unemployment in Nigeria. Dr. Wasiu Ajagbe, a Senior Lecturer and Construction Consultant at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ibadan made this assertion in a lecture entitled “Nigerian Tertiary Education and the Challenge of Unemployment: the Gown and the Town Face to Face” at the Professional Monthly Forum (PMF) on Sunday 21st January, 2018 at the Aces Hall, Yemetu, Ibadan.
Dr. Ajagbe who attributed the alarming rate of unemployment among the teeming Nigerian youth to lack of quality education and poor provision of infrastructures in our institutions of higher learning also suggested the integration Industry Based Learning (IBL) or work integrated learning (WIL) models in the curricula of the nation’s tertiary institutions.
While pointing out the purpose of tertiary education, Dr. Ajagbe identified development creative thought, providing solutions to the immediate and concrete needs of the society and the world, producing prepared minds for technological and innovative discovery, proper dissemination and application of knowledge and ultimately to get employed. He however the expressed disappointment that Nigeria’s tertiary institution have lived below expectations as “65% of Nigerian youths are unable to get employment according to the Bureau of Statistics”.
At the programme organised by the Group of Muslim Professionals, Oyo State Chapter, while encouraging lecturers to ensure their course contents are digital age updated and flavoured with industry requirements, Dr. Ajagbe charged students and graduates to engage in skill based personal development to be relevant in the global market place of the knowledge economy.
Speaking later, Dr. Lateef Bakre of the Department of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, the chairman of the occasion also reiterated the need for university undergraduates, professionals and academic researchers to focus more attention on solving societal problems with new ideas and discoveries. He said such research and professional orientation would concretise the essence of gown-town collaboration for training and development.
The programme which was well attended by professionals from all walks of life was also graced by Dr. Nafiu Musa of Department of Quantity Surveying, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr. Kazeem Olaoye of Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp, Engr. Daud Oladosu of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The Polytechnic, Ibadan and Alh. AbdRasaaq AbdGaniyy, a popular broadcaster at Inspiration FM., Ibadan, among others.