The Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah, speaking on Tuesday at a two-day retreat for governing councils of federal universities in Abuja, disclosed that Nigeria is considering a major policy change to its tertiary education that would see graduates go for an extra year of studies.
According to PREMIUM Times, the retreat, held under the theme ‘Elements of Statutory Governance, Procurement and Financial Accounting in Nigerian Universities,’ is to address the challenges of the education sector.
Anwukah said this was being considered because many university graduates were not good enough to be employed by industries, adding that the proposal was similar to the extra year currently being undertaken by law and medical students.
He said; “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.”
Anwukah said the university system has let Nigeria down in the country’s quest for industrial development. He said 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.
He lamented that the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) system has failed in the universities.
SIWES, established in 1974 by the Nigerian government, is a programme of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF). It is designed to give Nigerian students studying occupationally –related courses in higher institutions the experience that would supplement their theoretical learning.
But according to the minister, “the project is not working” and remains a major problem for the university system.