The Nigerian educational system needs to adopt trans-disciplinary approach to produce globally competitive students and fill the existing knowledge gap in the labour market.
Prof Olanike Adeyemo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnership, University of Ibadan, stated this while speaking on human capital development for the institution’s students, on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Adeyemo, who noted that the world was going trans-disciplinary, however condemned the country’s educational system where students were categorised, even while in junior secondary school.
“By the time students are in JSS III, they are either in science students or art students, and this has been causing deficiency.
“There is a knowledge gap, and when you interrogate some university students who are in humanities, most of them don’t have any idea about medical science or science generally.
“Similarly, when you speak with some students in science, they don’t have social skills because they have been made to drop all the courses in humanities; they are so deficient, whereas they need all to have complete education,” she said.
She said that the institution, through its various programmes in innovations, had been equipping students with soft skills that would make them to be competitive in the job market and be employment providers.
“The gap we identified is that potential employers say graduates are not employable; so most organisations spend millions of naira in training graduates so that they can be functional.
“What we should have are graduates who will fit in at the job market as well as students with entrepreneurial mindset.
“I do tell my students that what education does for them is to open their minds, and I encourage them to be whatever they want to be.
“Now, the terrain outside is changing, and if our students must remain competitive, then we have to try to see how we can enrich their learning experience through trans-disciplinary approach.
“Through this, they will not just come to the university to learn only their courses of study but they will equally be endowed with other skills such as emotional intelligence, communication skills and negotiation skills that will make them competitive,” Adeyemo said.
The deputy vice-chancellor added that the university, through her office, was collaborating with private companies and other corporate bodies to fill the knowledge gap.