CHALLENGES OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Entrepreneurship education in Nigeria is a career course in transition. Stakeholders in education have initiated it but the destination is still far going by many challenges facing it. The problems of entrepreneurship education are discussed as follows:
INADEQUATE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS: Instructional materials are all forms of information carriers that can be used in recording, storing, and transmitting or retrieving information for purposes of teaching and learning. According to Ezike and Obodo (1991) instructional materials are those instruments teachers use in classroom for teaching. Adekola (2010) noted that instructional materials are one of the factors influencing functional education in Nigeria. Regrettably, instructional materials used in teaching entrepreneurship education in Nigeria are not adequate to address modem trends of skill acquisition in the society. There are lacks of quality entrepreneurial textbooks in Nigerian schools even the teaching methods in use does not suit the practical aspect of entrepreneurial education.
In Competency Of Teachers: Entrepreneurial education is expected to prepare learners to be creative and productive citizens and nation builders, therefore; teachers implementing the curriculum in the classroom are supposed to be competent in different skills and delivery methods. A learner can only be creative and productive when guided by experts who possess practical skills. Though there is need for entrepreneurial education, Nigeria is lacking the manpower in the school system that can effectively implement the curricula at various levels of education in the country.
Poor attitude to technical and vocational education: entrepreneurial education cut across different technical and vocational areas. Poor societal attitude to vocational and technical education pose a big problem to entrepreneurial education. Despite government efforts in enhancing technical and vocational education, it is still perceived as the form of education for the under-privileged children. Though high level of unemployment cum insecurity should have changed this attitude, but Nigerians still prefer general education.
INADEQUATE FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING: One of the greatest problems facing entrepreneurial education in Nigeria is inadequacy of facilities and equipments for teaching and learning of the subject. Business and every aspect of education in the world is technology-driven with most critical changes occurring in the area of information and communication technology (ICT). Unfortunately, these facilities and equipment are absence in our institutions even some that are in schools are obsolescence. One of the basic principles that should guide entrepreneurial education is that teacher of entrepreneurial courses/ subjects should be experts in the use of modern day business equipment but where are these facilities.
STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING FUNCTIONAL ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION
The neglect of functional entrepreneurial education in Nigeria is rubbing the nation of the contributions these unemployed youths who are now perpetuating evil in the society would make on the economy. Though suffering many problems but neglect of this aspect of education could be said to be responsible in the increasing rate of insecurity in the country. Youths that should have been utilized as competent auto mechanics, truck drivers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, database technicians, medical technicians etc are now utilizing their creative energy in causing havoc to the country. But all hope is not yet lost as there are different strategies, which could assist in achieving a functional entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. Some of the strategies include:
INCORPORATION OF SCHOOL-WORK BASED LEARNING: Entrepreneurial education differs from other curriculum in that it encompasses an individuals total life style which is relevant to nation building and sustainable security’ consequently school-work based learning should be integrated into the entire curriculum from basic school through graduate level rather than viewed as an isolated unit of instruction studied at a particular time and level. According to Ayodele (2006), for functional entrepreneurial education to be achieved, there should be some form of genuine school-work based learning incorporated in some studies as part of the national economic development strategies.
ADEQUATE FUNDING: Availability of fund in every educational program is a critical factor in achieving functionality of such program. The unavailability of fund to our schools makes the cry for entrepreneurial education to be on papers than practices. Well funded entrepreneurial education program will no doubt equip the schools with adequate facilities needed for efficiency of the subject and achieving the stipulated objectives of entrepreneurial education thereby eradicating insurgence of insecurity. Government alone cannot fund functional entrepreneurial education as it demand for incorporation of different experts from varying skills.
Therefore, both public and private funds should be pooled to finance the high cost of inviting artisans into formal teaching process.
DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: Skills learning is more of practical than theory; students from time to time should be matched with local successful entrepreneurs with sound educational background who will mentor them. To enhance economic efficiency, self-empowerment and acquisition of useful skills, learners should be made to pass through an expert who will mentor him/her under the supervision of the school. There are many problems in learning vocational skills, which cannot be found in books but through internship programmes, a learner can gain solutions to such problems through the help of an experienced entrepreneur.
ESTABLISHMENT OF VOCATIONAL CENTERS: There is need to shift the focus of our education from certificate base to skill oriented. This could be achieved by establishing vocational centers for the youths. School students should be mandated to engage in practical during holiday in such centers with the help of teachers offering supervision services to the centers. In such centers, students should be encouraged to carryout some activities like writing business plan, feasibility study, seek for credit facilities, etc under a typical entrepreneurial condition as in the society. They should be taught how to form cooperative society and start theirs in the centers.
- COMPETENCY BASED RECRUITMENT OF TEACHERS: functional entrepreneurial education in our schools is expected to produce high quality graduates who are competent in different skills. It is therefore important to consider caliber of teachers that should handle the subject in different levels of education Assigning of the subject to people who are not vocationally and technically trained is like a blind leading another blind man. Vocational and Technical education which entrepreneurial education is part of should be handled by quality teachers with skill oriented educational background. Ukeje (1991) explained that quality of education provided in any society and nature of change effected is determined by the quality of teachers and the effectiveness of their teaching methods.
Therefore recruitment and assigning of this subject to anybody should be based on performance not certificate. To achieve this, interviewers and management should base their judgment on pedagogical skills, occupational skills, knowledge and attitudinal competencies needed for effective teaching of entrepreneurship in schools.