Fresh students of Nigeria’s premier technical university, the First Technical University, Ibadan, have been told that the university does not want to produce graduates without skills. This was made known to the new students by the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Olawale Ajibola.
While explaining the role of the university’s Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TVET) and why it was set up, Ajibola said “we don’t want to produce graduates that will not have a single skill”.
He went on to state that “we have some of our students who have registered companies and are making money. An additional certificate in vocational training with your Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering is great gain. The universities we call great don’t offer this opportunity”.
In his speech earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ayobami Salami announced that “in line with our commitment to producing market-ready graduates of international standards, that are not just knowledgeable, but also sound in terms of skills, you will undergo training in at least one vocation before you graduate. And to position you for international opportunities and broaden your horizons as entrepreneurs, you will mandatorily acquire and get certification in a second foreign language”.
Tony Ajah, a business growth strategist, who also delivered an address, observed that the largest markets are found through innovative means. He therefore urged the students to think of themselves as problem solvers who go out to solve problems using innovative techniques. Ajah also posited that the biggest challenge being faced by young people is ignorance and therefore urged them to develop the attitude of an entrepreneur. “See every problem as an opportunity and remember that entrepreneurship is a mindset”, he said.
Giving tips on time management, Prof Iyiola Tella, the Director of Tech-U’s Institute for Sustainable Development, averred that “for dreams to be realised, conscious steps must be taken”. Using the Salami technique which has been applied in different facets of life to explain problem solving, Prof Tella pointed out that “in solving big problems, breaking them into smaller bits will make them easier to solve. It involves taking consistent right steps towards a goal”.
Stating that a planned day goes better, he urged the newly admitted students to have action plans and note that some things are urgent and not important while there are things that are important but not urgent. He therefore charged them to be honest with themselves in order to be able to manage their time.
The Deputy Librarian, Dr. Rahman Akinbode also urged the students to make use of the institution’s library facilities in order to achieve excellent results. “The library is the backbone of any university and the library has lots of resources; including electronic and online resources”, Dr. Akinbode stated.