The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, has said the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) sensitisation workshop on the development of an institutional employability framework was appropriately timed.
He said it was timely because the country continues to seek ways of addressing the employment challenge bedeviling the Africa’s most populous nation.
The VC said this recently while offering his welcome address at the workshop organised by COL in collaboration with the university at the headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.
The Vice-Chancellor said the ravaging threat of unemployment “has rendered many of our youth incapable of fulfilling their dreams for a better life, even after many years of formal education.
“The university must seek innovative ways to support the government to eradicate joblessness and idleness among the youth in order to tame insecurity and other ills in our society.
“This workshop, which comes as initiative of COL is notable as the first of its kind and is an additional step and big boost on our quest at NOUN to produce graduates with relevant skills for employment for the betterment of the society.”
Prof. Peters further explained that “the workshop is an opportunity for our relevant academic and administrative directorates to share their experiences and at the same time acquire more knowledge from this type of interactions as it relates to improve the employability skills of our students after they might have left the university.”
The adviser, higher education, COL, Prof. Jane-Frances Agbu, said the organisation is working towards supporting government and institutions in the development and implementation of employability frameworks.
Prof. Agbu disclosed that learners need a reality show curriculum that prepares them for the Jobs that do not exist.
“This reality requires thoughtful and systematic planning; governments and institutions will need support to transform their policies and strategies to make the higher education sector more responsive, relevant and agile,” she said.
On his part, the Director of Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL), Prof. Patrick Eya, said the workshop will be a guide for them to chart a way of employability framework through the facilitators so that the unemployment will reduce.
Present at the event were the representative of the minister of Labour and Employment, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Principal Officers, Distinguished COL facilitator, Dr. Ephraim Mhlanga of South Africa Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE), RETRIDOL director, the quest speaker from the office of the permanent secretary, and other facilitators from NOUN.