BUSINESS EDUCATION AS A TOOL IN REDUCING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
Background to the Study
Business Education which He and Okolocha (2005) defined as an area of education that concern itself with the vocational and professional preparation of students for careers in business, is a broad area of knowledge which deals with the entire enterprise system, preparing youths for roles in enterprise as workers or entrepreneurs. ‘Acquisition of Business Education skills by students of various institutions can prepare them to start up small businesses such as computer business centers, book binding center, laminating center, selling of computer accessories, computer sales and computer training, internet center (cyber cafe) and more.
Instead of roaming the streets looking for non-existing jobs after graduating (Ndu, 2010), and (Osuala. 1995) stated that business education can equip its trainees with occupational skills needed to either succeed in a particular job or start a business and profit in it. Although Business Education is often described as education for. and about business (Nwosu, 2003), its primary purpose is to prepare individuals for gainful employment in the world of Business occupations. Business Education is an aspect of total education programme that provides functional and saleable skills, knowledge and understanding, attitudes or values needed to perform in the business world as producer and or consumer of a particular goods and services that all business offers. This suggests that all citizens need business education as an entry level to employment as an entrepreneur, ‘particularly in this period when unemployment has become a big problem in Nigeria and other developing nations.
Business Education represents a broad and diverse discipline that is included in all types of education delivery systems – elementary, secondary and tertiary institution. Business education includes education for office occupations, distribution and marketing occupations, accounting, teaching, business administration and economic understanding. The foregoing points out that Business Education cover wide spectrum of economic activities in any society and also refer to pedagogical and desirable business competence necessary for a suitable and sustainable development (Ezeyi, 2011). In support, scholars disposition about the significance of business Education, it can be reveal here that if business education is being given appropriate attention, it stand a chance of inculcating in students the necessary skills that can be used to create job and subsequently reduce unemployment among the youth.
Business education is a field of academic endeavours that is offered in different tertiary institution across the world, Nigeria inclusive. The curriculum and syllabus of business education was so unique, to support students to be self-reliance appreciating the above, the study was conceived to investigate the role of business education as a tool for reducing youth employment in Nigeria. Unemployment is regarded as one of the developmental problems currently facing Nigeria economy. Despite Nigeria being Africa’s most populous country, it has constantly recorded high rate of unemployment. Unemployment rate in Nigeria if not control will reach record high of 70% by 2017, with youth unemployment rate at over 89%. Youth’s unemployment in Nigeria is a consequence of several factors and one major factor is that of population growth. Nigeria has continued to experience high rate of population growth. Nigeria’s increasing population growth has produced an overwhelming increase in the size of the working age population.
Lack of employable skills due to inappropriate school curricular is another factor contributing to the rising youth unemployment. ‘Analysis have argued that in Nigeria generally, the skills that job seekers possess do not match the need demands of employers (McGrath. 1999, Kent and Mushi 1995). According to them, the education system in Nigeria has its liberal bias which indeed over supplies the labour market with graduates who do not possess the skills to facilitate self-employment or self-reliance (Oladele. Akeke and Oladunjoye, 2011).
Statement of the Problem
There has been a general outcry on the persistent rise in youth unemployment rate in Nigeria. This has led the army of angry and desperate unemployed youth prowling cities looking for jobs that ae non-existent. The unemployment situation has denied its victim their legitimate means of livelihood and in order to survive, they are now involved in all forms of criminality which threaten the peace of the society (Hernando 2013). Employers have however blamed the theoretical types of education offered to the students as the main reason for incidence of unemployment, as most of them simply lack skills and competencies needed to succeed in occupations. The federal government has emphasized the use of Business Education to equip potential graduates with appropriate skills needed not only for employment, but also for self-reliance.
However, it seems that students from tertiary institution in Nigeria especially those in Ekiti State are not taking advantage of Business education programme in equipping themselves with appropriate skills for both employment and self-reliance.
Therefore, the challenges faced by the youths in our contemporary society include:
- Youths are not ready to acquire the saleable skills as they are in haste to be successful in life, hence it prompt them to engage themselves in illegal and ungodly activities.
- The emergence of cyber-crime or internet fraud has discouraged the youth from acquiring the saleable skills as the internet fraud offer them the way of earning money without working hard.
- Lack of interest from the youth in acquiring the saleable skills through educational programme.
- Another challenge faced by the youth in our society is the perception of policy makers and the youths themselves about employment. To the policy maker and the youths, employment means a job with salary or working for someone else to earn a living.
- Lack of support from the government and the private sector to the youth programme in acquiring saleable skills.
- Political instability of the nation also leads to the youth being used as political thugs in which they earn more money from the politician dying for political power or office.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to ascertain the role the business education play in reducing youth unemployment in Ekiti State. Specifically, this study will seek to ascertain the following:
- To determine the role of business education play in reducing unemployment among the youth in Ekiti State.
- To determine the causes of unemployment among the youths of Ekiti State.
- To identify how business education can help the youth to be self-empowered.
- To proffer solution to the problem of unemployment through skills acquired in business education programme.
Business Education as an academic discipline that have can inculcate skills in students can be based on three performances indicator which includes the employment opportunities, skills acquiring and self-empowerment or self reliance. As a result of the above, the following research questions were raised:
- Does Business Education play a role in reduce youth unemployment among youth in Ekiti state?
- What are the major causes of unemployment among youth in Ekiti State?
- Does Business Education helps the youth to be self-empowered?
- What are the solutions to the problem of unemployment through skills acquired in business education?
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of benefits to the following:
To the Youths (Students)
- The outcome of this study will expose students to employment and self-employment skills needed to face challenges after graduation.
- The outcome of this study will serve as a guideline to other students that are carrying out research on any similar topic.
- The outcome of this study will also serve as a way of exposing students to training in various job opportunity to make a living.
To the Parents
- The outcome of this study will inform them f various job opportunities offered by Business Education,
- The outcome of this study will induce the parents to encourage their wards to enroll in Business Education.
To the Government
- The outcome of this study will reveal the main causes of unemployment in the society.
The government can adopt information that will be provided by this study during education policy making.
Scope of the Study
The study examines the role of business education in reducing unemployment in Ekiti State. The study focuses on graduates in College of Education, in the department of Business Education, college of Education, Ikere Ekiti.
This section discusses the literature review on role of business education in reducing unemployment in Ekiti State. The following subheadings were discussed below:
- Conceptual framework
- Business Education and Unemployment in Nigeria
- Concept of Business Education
- Concept of Youth
- Youth Unemployment
- Causes of Youth Unemployment
- Unemployment in Nigeria
- Business Education in Nigeria
- Reasons why Nigeria Adopted Business Education
- Objectives of business Education in Nigeria
- Challenges of Business Education in Nigeria
- Challenges of Establishing Business Education and Support Programmes
- Solutions to the Challenges Facing the Establishment of Business Education and Support Programme
- Theoretical framework
- Empirical Review of Studies