Students Aid Foundation (SAF) has tasked the youths to intensify efforts at acquiring the skills that will enable them to function effectively in the labour market, especially as the modern day technologies continued to evolve.
The foundation made the appeal in a press statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr AbdulAzeez Ajala, to commemorate the 2018 International Literacy Day (ILD) in Lagos.
ILD is celebrated around the world on Sept. 8 and this year’s edition is themed “Literacy and Skills Development.”
He expressed dissatisfaction that literacy challenges persist in Nigeria, despite progress made by the three levels of government.
He further noted that the demands for skills required for work are evolving.
“This is the time our institutions need to begin to explore integrated approaches that can simultaneously support the development of literacy and skills of our youths.
This will ultimately improve people’s life and work and contribute to equitable and sustainable societies.
“It is therefore imperative for the youths to equip themselves with the requisite skills required by ever changing workplaces in a competitive labour market.
This is the age of globalisation, and our youths must be global citizens.
The world is now going beyond just being literate and acquiring certifications.
We are witnessing significant disruption in the world of today. So, the youths have to key into skill set and the ability to impart.
The role of teachers in achieving this cannot be overemphasized. Our teachers too need to retool and reskill.
We also appeal for government intervention in the way of institutionalising viable skill acquisition centres that provoke innovation.
“We also urge the government to be more proactive and consistent in terms of policy directions that will be backed with a good implementation strategy.”
Noting that Nigeria thrives on a manufacturing based economy, he said “our economy and agriculture must be ICT and technology driven.
Ajala applauded the government on the Nigeria-China skill acquisition partnership regarding the rail transport system in the country but want the State and Federal government to increase the education budget allocation and implementation.
He said, “There is a need for us to recognise the African dimension to a vibrant economy in Nigeria. Nigeria’s position in Africa is very influential. Nigeria is the centrepiece of Africa’s foreign policy.”
The Director, who noted that public/private partnership as a sustainable force, said “Everybody has the responsibility to shoulder in making this vision realisable.