The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has said that it is collaborating with the Niger Government to establish entrepreneurship clubs in schools across the state.
Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director-General, SMEDAN, made this known in Minna, during a three-day capacity building for entrepreneurship teachers in public and private primary and secondary schools in the state.
The programme is being implemented under the Mind Shift Entrepreneurship Programme (MEP) known as the National-School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP).
“This programme is designed to enhance the capacity of the teachers who will, in turn, prepare the pupils/students and convert them into entrepreneurs.
“The teachers are expected to teach the pupils/students about entrepreneurship skills and form them into entrepreneurship clubs in their various schools.
“This is to enable continuity in the culture of entrepreneurship among them when they leave school or while in school,” he said.
Fasanya who was represented by Mr Levi Anyikwa, Deputy Director, Partnership Coordination, SMEDAN, said that training the trainers among the teachers was a continuous exercise.
“After the capacity building of these teachers, there will be a stepping down to the schools at the grassroots,” he said.
The Executive Director said that there was much anxiety and uncertainty among the Nigerian students about their future, because of the dearth of opportunities in the employment market and their lack of entrepreneurial skills to venture into new businesses.
“The World Bank recently predicted that there will be an additional injection of 40 million people joining the economically active group by 2040 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Given the most promising economic performance within the region, there is no way regular employment will cope with this number of people entering the unemployment market.
“The imperative is that young people must be supported with education and training that promotes employment generation and wealth creation,” he said.
He said that MEP was designed to engage the vibrant energy of students and youths and channel it into productive venture creation and management of their own businesses.
“The programme is to provide access to functional and hands-on entrepreneurship/financial literacy and community service education to every primary and secondary student in Nigeria,” he said.
Inaugurating the programme, Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, the State Commissioner for Education, promised that government would provide the necessary instructional materials to enable the trainees to inculcate entrepreneurial skills in their students.
Salihu said that 70 teachers were drawn from the public schools in the state for the training, while 30 came from the private schools.
Hajiya Halima Musa, a trainee teacher from Central Primary School Kontagora, said that the exercise was interactive and impactful as it exposed them to various entrepreneurship education.
Musa thanked the SMEDAN and the government for the gesture and promised to impact her pupils.