SMEDAN Trains Delta Teachers On Entrepreneurship Skills

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on Tuesday commenced a three-day capacity building for entrepreneurship teachers in Asaba, Delta.

The Director-General, SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, in his address of welcome at the training, said that the general idea behind the capacity building was to catch the pupils and students young, by equipping them with entrepreneurship skills.

Fasanya said that SMEDAN, through its flagship programme, “Mind Shift – National School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP) -2022, aimed to build entrepreneurship skills in the minds of primary school pupils and secondary students through their teachers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training programme was organised by SMEDAN, in partnership with the Delta State Government.

Fasanya, represented by the Agency’s South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr Egbuna Iloba, said that the essence of the programme was captured on the adage, ” Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”.

He said that with the World Bank’s prediction of an additional 40 million people joining the economically active group by 2040 in Sub-Saharan Africa, it has become imperative for young Nigerians to be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation.

According to him, the programme is designed to enhance the capacity of the teachers who will in turn prepare the pupils and students and convert them into entrepreneurs.

“There is much anxiety and uncertainty among the Nigerian students about their future because of dearth of opportunity in the employment market and their lack of entrepreneurial skills to go into new business ventures.

“Given the number of people entering the unemployment market, it has become imperative for young people to be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation and wealth creation.

“It was on this premise that the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme (MEP) was conceived by SMEDAN.

“The programme is designed to engage the vibrant energy of the students, youths and channel it into productive creation and management of their own businesses.

“The programme provides access to functional and hand-on entrepreneurship and financial literacy and community service education, to every primary and secondary student in Nigeria,” Fasanya said.

According to him, the MEP programme is driven through the N-SEP for primary and secondary school and the Tertiary Institutes Entrepreneurship Development Programme (TINEDEP).

“We have gotten the buy-in of the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education and the regulatory authorities have endorsed the programme.

“The objectives of the programme include: inculcating the culture of Entrepreneurship into the students of young age and involving many businesses and community leaders in a programme that impacts positively the lives of youths and the community, “he said.

Fasanya said that SMEDAN had carefully designed teachers’ manual to guide the teachers on how to hand-hold the pupils and students towards their entrepreneurship journey.

He, however, urged the state government to take the ownership of the programme and step it down to all the schools in the state.

On her part, Mrs Rose Ezewu, State Commissioner for Secondary Education, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sir Austin Oghoro, while declaring the programme open, lauded SMEDAN for the capacity building.

She described the programme as first of its kind, while urging the agency to sustain the commitment of equipping Nigerians with skills for growth and development.

According to Ezewu, the programme is worthy of emulation, the training will enable the state government to chart a new course in shaping the mindset of pupils and students in areas of business development and wealth creation.

“The teachers for this training have been specially selected to be at the vanguard of this programme.

“And, I wish to enjoin you to effectively utilise the skills learnt to improve the education sector and develop the school children in the state, “she said.

While tasking the participants on the training, Ezewu expressed confidence that the outcome of the training would be beneficial to the teachers, pupils, students and the state at large.

In his remarks, SMEDAN State Manager, Mr Leke Babalola, urged the teachers to be committed to the training, adding that it would be a win win for all at the end.

NAN

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