The Vice Chancellor, The First Technical University, Ibadan, Prof. Ayobami Salami, has stressed the need to focus on entrepreneurial and vocational education in order to make students market-ready and competitive.
Salami made this call on Tuesday during the matriculation ceremony of 184 students on the varsity ground in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The event, which was preceded by a Parents Forum, had in attendance dignitaries that included the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Oyo State, Funmilayo Orisadeyi; and mother of the state Governor, Abigail Makinde.
According to the VC, entrepreneurial and vocational educational are key to bridging the employment gap.
He said the Tech-U management decided to combine practice with theory because the supply of graduates continued to surpass the available jobs in the country.
Salami said: “We believe it has got to a point, in our country, when critical stakeholders should ask the question: What manner of educators are satisfied with just producing students who end up in the labour market, begging for the employment that is hardly there?”
According to him, the realisation of this fact has become imperative and thus the first Technical University is better placed to lead in this capacity, while also noting that Tech-U can become an important model for others.
He said: “As an agent of transformation, the first Technical University has embraced the fact that any form of tertiary education that does not envisage and provide socio-economic options for students is dangerously deficient.
“We believe it has got to a point, in our country, when critical stakeholders should ask the question: What manner of educators are satisfied with just producing students who end up in the labour market, begging for the employment that is hardly there?
“If all you can guarantee parents and their children is a bunch of theories filled with clichés, are you qualified to call yourself a university?
“Here, we know the answer is in the negative. So, we have a vision and roadmap that will present you, our students, with valuable options when you graduate from here.
“My dear new students, we know you will need the good jobs upon your graduation, but you will also be in a position to establish on your own and become creators of your earnings and employers of others.
“You will need the market but the market will also need you based on what we will have imparted in you at the end of your study at the Tech-U.
“This is guaranteed by the nature of our curriculum that combines theory with the practical.
“The First Technical University is unique not only because it is a pioneer in its area of specialisation, but also because of its corrective orientation. The Tech-U is bold, resolute but pragmatic in terms of the core vision of bridging the skill gaps that exist in the country’s educational system.
“Far from being another factory of job seekers, we are a nurturing ground for entrepreneurs, those who really make the difference in the life of our nation.”
During the programme, the university presented its 3s scholars, being those who are currently on the First Class grade.
All the scholars get N10,000 monthly stipend, courtesy of the Josephus Foundation.
Also showcased were those the university calls the Tech-U entrepreneurship – eight of them – who have distinguished themselves in the entrepreneurial and creative world, despite the fact that they are still students.