As a part of efforts to proffer solutions to the unemployment challenges faced by the teeming number of graduates being churned out by tertiary institutions, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, has introduced entrepreneurial courses to equip its students with requisite skills to carve niches for themselves for self sustainability.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, disclosed this on Friday during a press briefing ahead of activities for the 44th convocation of the university scheduled for Wednesday, December 11 to Saturday, December 14, 2019.
He stressed that the challenge of unemployment among the Nigerian youths, particularly graduates, had made it imperative for the university to not only ensure quality education capable of guaranteeing them good jobs but to also train them through entrepreneurial programmes to become job creators instead of job seekers.
“We have come to a level where we can not just be graduating numbers but based on what they are able to do. All our faculties have come together to initiate entrepreneur programmes in order to equip all our students, regardless of their courses of choice to equip them with necessary skills to be able create jobs and also become employed,” Eyitope said.
“We want to ensure that they would graduate with two certificates, one for the degree and the second one for the entrepreneurial skills,” he stressed.
“We have programmes on fashion designing, woodwork, metal work, photography, arts development among others which would be used to as a back up by our graduates to fit in properly in the labour market. We have adequate equipment, facilities and resources to drive the programme,” he added.
The Vice Chancellor also restated the university’s commitment to agricultural development to support the Federal Government’s efforts to guarantee food security for the country.
“We have acquired massive land, part of which we have devoted enormously for agricultural programmes. We have collaborated with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to drive our agricultural programmes and this will go a long way in preferring solution to food scarcity and guarantee food security,” he said.
Eyitope also disclosed that the university would be awarding 7,209 degrees for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with 124, finishing with first class honours.
It will also honour three philanthropists with the award of Ph.D (Honoris Causa).
Among them are Marketing Communication guru, Mr Biodun Shobanjo, president of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Oramah and the Chairman of a First Bank, Ibukun Awosika.