The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) yesterday, unveiled a new $3 million project that will develop entrepreneurship curriculum for senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
The project, part of which will be funded by the Government of Japan, will be implemented in the course of the next five years and will focus on supporting the education process in nine states, namely Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Katsina, Ogun, Ondo, and Oyo.
Ismail Junaidu, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), said through its national development plan called “Vision 20:2020”, that the Federal Government, which supports the project, aims to catapult the country into the league of the top 20 industrialised nations by the year 2020.
“To achieve this goal, we need to make sure that young people in Nigeria have the chance to become productive members of society. A new education curriculum focusing on developing entrepreneurship knowledge, skills and attitudes that will benefit industries and also serve as a reliable and efficient vehicle for the attainment of the vision,” he said
Nigeria has an estimated population of around 186 million people. The country’s overall unemployment rate is of 24 per cent, of which over 60 per cent are youth. Each year, around four million young men and women enter the workforce, with only a small fraction able to find formal employment. A project that prepares young people to create their own employment is therefore a welcome development.
The UNIDO project will support the development of entrepreneurship content and infuse it into the curricula of 34 trade subjects. It will also develop teachers’ guides, as well as monitoring and evaluation tools. Further, the project will help build the capacity of involved staff of the NERDC to sustainably support and develop entrepreneurship education in Nigeria’s formal education system.