The Nigerian Government is considering a major policy shift to Nigeria’s tertiary education system that would see graduates go for an extra year of studies in order to be grounded enough for the labour market.
The Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah, disclosed this on Tuesday at a two-day retreat for governing councils of the federal universities in Abuja held under the theme ‘Elements of Statutory Governance, Procurement and Financial Accounting in Nigerian Universities’.
According to him, the extension of the year of studies was being considered because many university graduates in the country were not good enough to be employed by industries.
He explained that the proposal was similar to the extra-year currently being undertaken by law and medical students.
“Law students attend Law School for one year before going for NYSC and medical students go for one year Housemanship before they are allowed to practice fully, so it will be necessary for other courses to also go through this process.
“The Lagos Business School can also serve as a one year after-school training,” the Education minister of state added.
He continued that the university system has let Nigeria down in the country’s quest for industrial development, stressing that the universities have failed to produce graduates that meet the needs of the industries.
“The universities are producing products that are not matching the needs of the industries. I urged the Committee of Pro-chancellors and Committee of Vice-Chancellor to end the decline in the standard of education,” he said.
Anwukah lamented that the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme, SIWES, system has failed in the universities, stressing that “the project is not working” and remains a major problem for the university system.
The Federal Government set up SIWES in 1974 to afford Nigerian students studying occupationally–related courses in higher institutions the experience that would supplement their theoretical learning.