President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the development of new curriculum for Nigerian universities that would lay emphasis on self-employment.
Buhari made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the 11th convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The president who was represented by David Gende, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, said his administration had created enabling environment through various interventions and programmes in support of the drive.
“It is our hope that our graduates will utilise these opportunities by embracing all the various programmes that have been put in place,” he said.
Buhari said it was pertinent to restate that the nation’s educational curriculum be geared towards placing emphasis on entrepreneurship education.
“There must be a paradigm shift in the focus and orientation of our graduates towards employment opportunities.
“The realisation of this objective lies with our universities to develop new curricula that will lay emphasis on self-employment.
“It is pleasing to note that the National Universities Commission (NUC) is about to conclude the comprehensive review of the curricula of all programmes in our universities and placing premium on entrepreneurship.
“This as we all know, is a driver to increase productivity and reduction in unemployment figures among our youths.
“It is our hope that our graduates will utilise these opportunities by embracing all the various programmes that have been put in place,” Buhari said.
According to the president, education supports all efforts and developments in terms of social, economic, political and religious undertakings.
He said it was a common knowledge that the root cause of most of the recorded crises in the country could only be solved through the provision of education.
He also said that his administration was committed to making education affordable to all, through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL).
“In this connection, the National Policy on Education (NPE) had provided for Lifelong Learning that transcends all barriers through Open and Distance Learning (ODL),” he said.
The Pro-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Peter Okebukola, commended the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, for his uncommon achievement in the sector.
Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Olufemi Peters, said he was eager to make NOUN Open and Distance Learning (ODL) greater.
Peters said the next four years would be critical to consolidate on the achievements recorded in the institution.
He charged the graduates to be resolute as they have been empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.
“I challenge you to apply yourself diligently in whatever capacity you find yourself, and with integrity as true ambassadors of NOUN,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 22,250 students graduated from the institution out of which 16,681 were undergraduates, while 5,569 were postgraduate students.
The convocation was beamed in 48 out of the university’s 107 study centres to enable graduating students outside Abuja to be part of it.