The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, recently proposed that Nigerian university graduates may spend an extra year of studies in specialised institutions after graduation in the bid to make them employable.
The minister, who made the proposal on May 8 at the two-day retreat for governing councils of federal universities organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja, explained that he made the suggestion based on the fact that many Nigerian university graduates were not good enough to be employed by industries.
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The retreat meant to address the challenges of the education sector was anchored on the theme: “Elements of Statutory Governance, Procurement and Financial Accounting in Nigerian Universities.” Prof. Anwuka also stressed that the proposal was similar to the extra year currently being undertaken by law and medical students. He further argued that if law students spend an extra year before going to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and medical students go for one year housemanship, it will be necessary for graduates of other courses to also pass through the same process.
According to the minister, “the universities are producing products that are not matching the needs of the industries.” The minister was worried that the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) has failed in the universities. While the minister’s observation has underscored the crisis in the nation’s university education system, his proposal of an extra year for varsity graduates is not the solution.