ESTABLISHMENT AND SUSTENANCE OF VIABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION CENTRES IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES

Time Journals of Arts and Educational Research Vol. 2(1):39-46.July 2014 www.timejournals.org/tjaer © 2013 Time Journals ISSN: 2360-7343 ESTABLISHMEN...
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Time Journals of Arts and Educational Research Vol. 2(1):39-46.July 2014 www.timejournals.org/tjaer © 2013 Time Journals ISSN: 2360-7343

ESTABLISHMENT AND SUSTENANCE OF VIABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION CENTRES IN NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES 1

AFOLABI, F.O. (Ph.D.), Department of Educational Administration and Planning Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.

*YUSUF, M.A. (Ph.D.) ,Department of Educational Administration and Planning Obafemi Awolowo university Ile-Ife 3

OGUNJOBI, O.P.,Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and Support Services Federal University, Oye-Ekiti. 4

Mr. IDOWU Ezekiel Kayode Department of Curriculum Studies and Instructions College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Nigeria. *Corresponding Author E-mail:[email protected] Accepted: 9 July, 2014

Abstract The inevitable need to ameliorate the problem of graduate unemployment in Nigeria, has compelled the tertiary institutions to integrate entrepreneurship education into their curricula. This lofty education programme paves way to the need to establish a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centres in the tertiary institutions. This paper specifically focuses on the establishment and sustenance of viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre (EECs), in Nigerian tertiary institutions, as a model. The prospects and challenges of the Entrepreneurship Education Centres are examined in the paper, with a view to having sustainable Entrepreneurship Education centres in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Key words: Entrepreneurship Education Centre, Establishment, Sustenance, Tertiary Education. Introduction The problem of high rate of graduate unemployment in Nigeria today is so critical, virulent, agonizing and persistent, that it continues to feature regularly in some national newspapers and magazines. Higher education is widely perceived in Nigeria as an investment in the human capital development, with the sole aim of enhancing the productive and consumptive capacity of its

beneficiaries. Between 1992 and 2012, there had been phenomenal increase in the number of tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria. The statistical report on 2011 admissions and 2012 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) applications indicated that as at January 2012, Nigeria had 365 tertiary educational institutions. These include 113

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(31.0%) universities, 74 (20.3%) Polytechnics; 80 (21.9%) Colleges of Education; 53 (14.5%) Monotechnics; and 45 (12.3%) Innovation Enterprise Institutions (JAMB, 2012). It is apparent that with the influx of more graduates from the Nigerian tertiary institutions into already saturated labour market, then the problem of graduate employment becomes aggravated. As succinctly remarked by Ogunjobi (2014:2) “the available jobs in Nigeria labour market are either disappearing or shrinking, leading to a situation that more people are jostling for fewer jobs”. Higher Educational Institutions in Nigeria need to restructure their academic curricular modules and make them more relevant to the demands of labour market, so as to make their products to take up employment opportunities and consequently generate employment for others. Undoubtedly the problem of graduate unemployment in Nigeria would be drastically reduced if viable entrepreneurship education is integrated properly into the curriculum of Nigerian tertiary educational institutions. According to Ray (1998:16), “No nation can achieve the employment goals without emphasis on entrepreneurship development”. Afolabi (2011:63) affirmed that “entrepreneurship education equips individuals with entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, and right attitude to work and re-sharpen their talents, natural endowments and competencies so as to make them become self-reliant and successful entrepreneurs”. To solve the critical problem of graduate unemployment in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Education through the supervisory and regulatory bodies; the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board of Technical Education (NBTE), and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), continues to encourage the Nigerian tertiary institutions, not only to integrate entrepreneurship education into their curricula, but also, to set up viable Centres for Entrepreneurship Development to provide the missing practical workplace skills and training that will equip graduates to be self-reliant, self-employed and become employers of labour. This paper specifically focuses on the establishment and sustenance of viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre (EECs), in Nigerian tertiary institutions. It also examines the prospects and challenges of the Entrepreneurship Education Centers. Attempt is made in the paper to set up a model on the establishment and sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in a typical Nigerian University. The Concepts of “Entrepreneurship Centre” and “Tertiary Education”

Education

Before taking a critical look at the establishment and sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre, it is deemed pertinent to conceptualise the terms

“Entrepreneurship Education Centre (EEC) and “Tertiary Education” in Nigeria. What is an Entrepreneurship Education Centre? Entrepreneurship Education Centre is simply conceptualised here as an aesthetically pleasing environment for acquisition of entrepreneurial skills and social values that will strengthen the individuals with vocational competence, industrial experiences and desirable ethical orientation towards sustainable human development. Thus, Entrepreneurship Education Centre is a specially designed centre to empower the students and interested community members with enterprising productive abilities and habits that will enhance dignity of labour and desire for wealth creation. What is Tertiary Education? In the Fourth Edition of the National Policy on Education (2004:30), “Tertiary education is the education given after secondary education in Universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, Monotechnics including those institutions offering correspondence courses”. The goals of tertiary education in Nigeria shall be to: i. contribute to national development through high level relevant manpower training; ii. develop and inculcate proper values for the survival of the individual and society; iii. develop the intellectual capability of individuals to understand and appreciate their local and external environments; iv. acquire both physical and intellectual skills which will enable individuals to be self-reliant and useful members of the society; v. promote and encourage scholarship and community service; vi. forge and cement national unity; and vii. promote national and international understanding and interaction (FRN: 2004:30) The Establishment and Sustenance of a Viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre A model depicting the procedural phases required for the establishment of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre and the strategies for the sustenance of such Entrepreneurship Development Centre in a typical tertiary institution in Nigeria is shown in figure 1. As clearly indicated in the model, the establishment of a functional and viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in any tertiary institution in Nigeria entails the following procedural steps.

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Formulation of objectives Education Centre:

of

Entrepreneurship

Formulating realistic and achievable objectives of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre is the first indispensable step in the establishment of such Centre in any Nigerian tertiary institution. Such objectives include: i. To coordinate and provide training platform to teach, coach and inspire students to identify and creatively pursue business opportunities and innovation along with their core academic programmes. ii. To provide the missing practical workplace skills and training that will equip graduates to be selfreliant, self-employed and become employers of labour. iii. To serve as an avenue for practical exposure of undergraduates to workplace environment, innovations, risk bearing, product development, business set up and marketing strategies. iv. To serve as a training ground for skills acquisition and identification of students’ potentialities and natural endowments that could be nurtured towards specific careers for self-reliance. v. To serve as an ideal centre for impacting entrepreneurial skills and create in the students positive attitude of team work and socially desirable values such as commitment, dignity of labour, responsibility, tolerance, cooperation, helpfulness and self-reliance. vi. To assist the students to develop a realistic knowledge and understanding of business and work life. Site Selection Location of a suitable site for the Entrepreneurship Education Centre constitutes an indispensable step in setting up a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre and should be considered in connection with the following factors; topography and nature of the soil; space for expansion; accessibility, safety from dangers; freedom from health hazard, aesthetic values and availability of public utilities.

ii.

The entrepreneurship education curriculum and other co-curricular activities. iii. Students’ course levels to be admitted into specific programmes. iv. The expected enrolment capacity. v. Facilities and equipment required. vi. Flexibility of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre buildings to accommodate changes in the entrepreneurship programmes which may occur during the years ahead. Architectural Services The architect plays a prominent role in the procurement of suitable plans for the Entrepreneurship Education Centre. The major task of the architect is to design a structure which must be in harmony with educational philosophy and programme of the tertiary institution, by taking into consideration the following issues: i. A clear understanding of the objectives of entrepreneurship education. ii. The organization of the institution. iii. The approved educational specifications. iv. Multiple use of some facilities in the Centre such as Conference hall, laboratories, workshops, recreation centres and so on. v. Aesthetics to be built into the architectural design. Erecting the Centre buildings Once the plans have been approved, the Management Team of the Institution works out the modalities for selecting bids, letting contracts and erecting the centre buildings. As soon as the contract is awarded to the successful bidder, he must be made to sign a written agreement with the Management of the Institution, agreeing legally to perform certain designated functions for stipulated period of time and at stipulated sum of money. Strategies for the Sustenance Entrepreneurship Education Centre

of

a

Viable

Educational Specifications

Adequate funding

To establish a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre, there should be vivid description of all the activities and programmes for which the Centre will be used. The essential information to be clearly described in educational specification document includes: i. The specific objectives of entrepreneurship education.

To sustain a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in any tertiary education in Nigeria, prominent attention must be given to adequate funding of the Centre. Fund allocation to the various entrepreneurship programmes should be devoid of bureaucracy or redtapism. Entrepreneurship projects at the Centre could be funded through Education Trust Fund (ETF), National

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Figure 2: Organization Chart of a typical Entrepreneurship Education Centre in Nigerian University. (Designed by the authors of the paper)

Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education, National Commission for Colleges of Education, Central Bank of Nigeria, Presidential Committee on Invention and Innovation, National Board for Technology Incubation, Commonwealths, World Bank, Nigerian Banks and other stakeholders of education.

salaries and allowances, provision of modern working tools and maintenance of aesthetically pleasing working environment. Moreover, modern audiovisual materials, equipment and gadgets must be adequately provided at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education.

Adequate Supply of Human and Material Resources

Sound Administrative Machinery

The sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in any tertiary institution in Nigerian, depends greatly upon the quality of the staff recruited for entrepreneurship programmes such as experienced lecturers, technicians, practitioners, artisans and other resource persons, as well as, upon the effectiveness with which they discharge individual and group responsibilities. The personnel for the entrepreneurship education must be of high quality and right quantity and boost their morale through prompt disbursement of their

The sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in a typical tertiary education in Nigeria requires clearly defined administrative machinery. An ideal Entrepreneurship Education Centre must have an administrative structure or structural framework depicting how the various activities and entrepreneurship programmes are being performed by designated staff in specific positions in the Centre. The administrative structure of an Entrepreneurship Education Centre in a typical Nigerian University is shown in figure 2.

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As clearly indicated in figure 2, the Vice Chancellor as the Chief Executive of the University is at the top of the organization chart of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre. Directly under him, is the Director of the Centre, who is responsible for the formulation of Entrepreneurship Education Centre plans, policies and programmes of activities. He organizes, directs, stimulates and coordinates the activities of the staff and students. Directly under the Director are Deputy Director for Academic Extension Services and Deputy Director for Linkages and Ventures. The Heads of Departments or Units are directly responsible to the Deputy Director (Academic Extension Services), as they take directives from him and acquaint him with the problems of the Department or Units. Under the Head of Departments are the Master Trainers who carry out various training programmes and give instructions to Artisans who pass them on to the students. The Deputy Director (Linkages and Ventures) links the Entrepreneurship Education Centre with other National and International Agencies and liaises regularly with coordinators for Vocational Skills Acquisition, Students’ Work Study Programme, Entrepreneurship Development Programme and Management and Marketing Support Services. He also convenes regularly the meeting of Entrepreneurship Project Committees. The administrative structure contributes significantly to the sustenance of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre, as it helps in judicious allocation of tasks and responsibilities to various Departments or Units within the Centre and spells out clearly the specific areas of authority and responsibility of the various Units in order to prevent conflict. Quality Assurances Strategies The sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in any Nigerian tertiary education institution demand for effective quality assurance strategies. Such strategies include overseeing periodically the work being performed by various bodies handling entrepreneurship education in the tertiary institutions, stimulating the bodies and assist them to improve on their work. Also, the supervisory and regulatory agencies (NUC, NBTE and NCCE) must encourage external moderation system to ensure quality control and parity in the entrepreneurship educational programmes of the tertiary institutions. Prospects of Entrepreneurship Education Centre Acquisition of Entrepreneurial skills: One of Nigeria’s educational objectives entranced in the

National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004:3) is “the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences both mental and physical as equipment for individual to live and contribute to the development of the society”. Amaele (2005:135) affirmed that education aims at helping an individual to develop all his in-born or inbuilt potentials”. This lofty objective is in conformity with the objective of Entrepreneurship Education Centre that is to give appropriate training and impact entrepreneurial skills leading to the production of utilities and guarantee self-reliance. Community Partnership in Enterprise Education Programmes The mot successful Enterprise Education Projects are based on strong bonds between the tertiary institutions and their local communities, especially the business and industrial communities. Effective management of the community in Enterprise education programmes and activities indicates that the Entrepreneurship Education Centre needs to consult and evolve relevant community organizations, business and individuals from the onset, rather than seek their support after things are in place, as people and organizations are more likely to embrace those things they have helped to shape. Judicious use of students’ leisure time: The Entrepreneurship Education Centre in the tertiary institution usually float various vocations such as fashion designing, hairdressing including manicure and pedicure, furniture and woodwork, catering and confectionary services including Pop-corn production, electrical works such as computer repairs and electrical installation, plumbing, leather works and shoe making, masonry and building works and shoe making, textile works, screen printing and graphic arts, photography knitting, web design and agro-allied trades. Apart from the scheduled Work Study Programmes, students can go to the Entrepreneurship Education Centre to learn any of these vocations, during their leisure time. Development of desirable social values in the students The Entrepreneurship Education Centre in the tertiary institution encourages the development of entrepreneurial skills and attributes that employer are looking for in the students, such as team work, commitment and flexibility. It also develops in students a realistic knowledge and understanding of business and work place settings. While socially desirable values such as dignity of labour, cooperation, tolerance and self-reliance acquired by the

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students during their training programmes will further inspire in them fervent desire to be useful members of the society and contribute meaningfully to the social and economic aspirations of the nation.

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Trust Fund (ETF), National Education Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND), World Bank, Commonwealths, the Fords Foundations, National Board for Technology Incubation, Presidential Committee on Invention and Innovation and individual tertiary institution.

Earning wages while learning Through regular visitation to the Entrepreneurship Education Centre, the students are inspired to be actively involved in productive work, in which they earn some wages, as they proceed from level of their academic programmes to another. Also, acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, cognitive development and development of desirable habits and attitudes by the students at the Entrepreneurship Education Centre help them to set up their small scale business and earn some wages, while they are learning. Challenges of establishing and sustaining viable Entrepreneurship Education Centres in Nigeria tertiary institutions. Maintaining the Centre buildings, equipment and instructional materials.

Recruiting personnel Centre:

high quality and right quantity of for the Entrepreneurship Education

The sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in any tertiary institution in Nigeria depends greatly on the quality and quantity (numerical strength) of the personnel recruited for the various training programmes at the Centre, as well as the effectiveness with which the personnel discharge individual and group responsibilities. To enhance the commitment, competence and productivity of the staff, the morale of the personnel must be sustained through attractive conditions of service, exposure to staff development programmes and provision of modern working tools.

furniture,

Overloaded curriculum in some Departments in the tertiary institutions:

The maintenance of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre plant is very important, as it is susceptible to depreciation every day, Depreciation of the Centre buildings, furniture, equipment and instructional materials can be attributed to factors such as tear and wear in usage; physical decay, obsolesce, that is, growing out of utility, negligence in the use of the Centre plant and equipment and defects in construction of the plant or in material. It therefore becomes imperative to place high premium on regular maintenance, emergency maintenance and preventive maintenance services of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre buildings, furniture, equipment and materials.

The Entrepreneurship Education Centres in the tertiary institutions may be faced with the challenges of inability of some students to attend their training programmer regularly due to their overloaded curriculum in their Departments. Students in such dilemma find it onerous to sacrifice their regular courses in their Departments for the training programmes at the Entrepreneurship Education Centre. Consequently they cannot cope with the demands of such vocation

Allocation of adequate fund to the Entrepreneurship Education Centre. Prompt allocation of adequate fund to Entrepreneurship Education Centre is crucial to the success of such Centre in any tertiary institution in Nigeria, procurement of materials and equipment and provision of modern facilities depend greatly on availability and adequacy of fund for effective funding of Entrepreneurship Development Projects, and various sources must be explored. These include the Supervisory and Regulatory Agencies of the tertiary institutions, notably NUC, NBTE and NCCE, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other Commercial Banks in Nigeria, TETFUND, Education

Officious bureaucratic behaviour Positions and responsibilities in the Entrepreneurship Education Centre often portray officious bureaucratic behaviour. Lack of flexibility or adaptation to changing circumstances in the Centre may stifle the initiative and creativity of the practitioners of laid down principles and procedures constitute a serious threat to effective performance of the training programmes at the Centre. According to Afolabi and Loto (2012:343) “strict hierarchy of authority may deter the process of change and often delay educational policy implementation as the subordinates have to wait for directives from the superordinates before they could do any administrative work”. Thus overdependence on bureaucratic status tends to confine the experienced practitioners, master trainers and artisans to their horizons in the Entrepreneurship Education Centre.

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CONCLUSION Provision of viable Entrepreneurship Education Centres in Nigerian tertiary institutions will not only assist greatly in ameliorating the problem unemployment of among graduates of tertiary institutions, but also minimise the various crimes often committed by most Nigerian youths. The Entrepreneurship Education Centre would continue to serve as Management Consultancy arm of the tertiary institution, with the sole aim of advancing knowledge and excellence through training, workshops, symposia and seminars to students, interested community members and personnel of government and private sector. The Centre must be suitably located, with modern and aesthetically pleasing building erected on the site, properly equipped with modern instructional materials and staffed with highly experienced personnel for effective job performance. Recommendations The following recommendations are made for improvement. The Entrepreneurship Education Centre should be completely devoid of administrative and financial bureaucracies that could hinder its effectiveness and efficiency in any Nigerian tertiary institution. The Students’ Work Study Scheme should be entrenched in the entrepreneurship education curriculum. While theoretical Entrepreneurship Education Courses should be done through simulation of business environment to allow students acquire skills in Nurturing Business Ideas; Innovation, Creativity and Invention, Financing the Entrepreneurial Ventures; Cash Flow Management; Business Start-up Skills; E-Commerce and Entrepreneurship; Talent Management; Sales and Marketing Planning; Information and Community Technology. The Linkage and Ventures Unit of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre should be seen as the Consultancy arm of the Centre, aimed at generating

revenue for the tertiary institution through in-house training, workshops, seminars, symposia as well as outreaches for Government personnel at all levels and the private sector. The sustenance of a viable Entrepreneurship Education Centre in any Nigerian tertiary institution requires adequate funding. The funding of such Centre should be a collective responsibility of Government, voluntary agencies, household, community, religious organization, Philanthropists, Private Sector and NonGovernmental Organisations. While the tertiary institutions should embark upon some profitable commercial ventures, for the purpose of generating additional revenue for meeting the critical needs of the Entrepreneurship Education Centre. References Afolabi FO (2011). “Tertiary and Graduate Unemployment in Nigeria”: The need to revisit Entrepreneurship Education for the 21st Century. Development and Policy Issues in Africa. 4 (1). Afolabi FO, Loto AB (2012). “Socio-Political Vicissitudes and Bureaucratic Constraints on Educational Policy Formulation and Implementation in Nigeria”, in Edo, V.O. and Salami, E.F.K. (eds) Issues and Trends in Nigeria’s Development. A Festschrift for the Rev. (Fr.) Abiodun F. Akinseye. Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Limited. Amaele S (2005). Understanding the Philosophy of Education. Ibadan: Bounty Press Limited. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004). National Policy on Education. Abuja: NERDC. Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (2012). Statistical Report on 2011 Admission and 2012 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination Application. Abuja: JAMB. Ogunjobi OP (2014). Framework on the Establishment of the Centre forEntrepreneurship Development and Support Services (CEDSS) of Federal University, OyeEkiti, Nigeria. “CEDSS Document”. Ray O (1998). Entrepreneurship and Economics Development. New York: Harper and Row.

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