… Says Lack of Mentorship Make Our Youths Job Seekers
By Emmanuel Elebeke & Alice Ekpang
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami says he has no comment yet to make on the threat issued against him by the Boko Haram Insurgence at the weekend.
The Minister made this known while fielding questions from newsmen on Monday where he Kicked off a General Mentorship Class for Secondary School, aimed at raising potential job providers.
Recall that the dreaded Boko Haram insurgence had last week issued a video threat against the Minister and President Mohammadu Buhari.
The Minister who spoke on the lecture entitled: Digital Economy and Emerging Technologies at GSS Garki, charged the students to be futuristic in their choice of career and ensure that they become job creators rather than being job seekers.
The Minister stated that the General Mentorship Class was instituted to go round the country to encourage Nigerian youths to key into the emerging technologies by developing digital skills that would aid them become potential job providers after graduation.
‘‘Emerging economy is coming with disruptive revolution that is completely changing the world. With this, we need to be proactive, encourage our younger ones. Most especially, those in secondary school.
‘‘That is what digital economy is all about, it is not about certificate because majority of those doing well in that field studied ICT related courses in the universities but they came up with critical thinking that the whole world is proud of like Amazon.
‘‘That is why I have decided to visit the schools as part of mentorship, to change their thinking from being job seekers to job providers.’’
Pantami, who decried dearth of mentorship in Nigerian schools, insisted that the students must be mentored with the right skills so as not to become potential job seekers but creators of many more jobs for others.
‘‘What I discovered is that many of our children in secondary schools do not get the right mentorship they required, guidance and counseling to determine their career in future. Usually, they only choose course based on they are interest in the name. When they are interest, they just apply.
‘‘I think we need to be visiting their schools, providing them with mentorship, guiding them on how to prepare and choose relevant disciplines that will be relevant in the future. The whole world is being dominated by the digital economy, replacing the traditional economy.
‘‘The job opportunities we have in this country are really worrisome, if you look at the number of graduate that are churned out every year, it is really worrisome. Admission difficult, students struggling on campus to eat two square meals. When they graduate, they will not get job, when they get the job, the salary will not take them home.
‘‘We need to be more interested in producing potentials job employers. With digital skills, you can come up with applications that can provide 50, 70 jobs no single institution can create in Nigeria. Hence, my visit to convey the message to them so that can share with others.
‘‘With this, we can change their perception and have hope of becoming potential employers rather than employees. That is key to our challenges in the country.’’
On whether there is plan to include mentorship into the school curriculum, he said, ‘‘yes, this is expected to be included by the ministry of education in line with the Digital Economy Policy recently approved by Mr. President. The burden is not only on our door steps. I will send it officially to the ministry of education,’’ he added.
On his part, the Principal of the School, Haruna Mohammad Labaye explained that the essence of the program is to ensure that the nation’s economy is diversified.
‘‘The Minister saw the need to go round schools not only my school, but selected schools. My students are very intelligent, they were touched by this Minister’s lecture. They will actually extend it by making some kind of information dispensation to brothers and sisters, to parents for the need to be creative, with the idea of creativity, how they can build up themselves and help build others by creating means of job opportunities through the digital program.’’
‘‘ On our part, we have established the ICT center in my school, we have already started using it, so this is an added advantage to what we have already. So, we are going to intensify our Work in the area of ICT for is to b able to catch up.