How Value Creation by Youths Will Mitigate The Rising Unemployment Problem in the World
In 2001, I was out of secondary school, seeking higher education and jobless. In Nigeria, unemployment is as high as above 45% among youths and I was just like any other youth, only that I knew that I have to find solution to my own problem. Knowing that people do not have money problem, what they truly have is a value problem; I took a stock of my own personal abilities and skills, and through collaboration with my friend and a senior colleague, we started a network of private tutorial classes and we went on to give employment to over 10 secondary school leavers. This research highlights the cause of unemployment among youths and possible solutions from my own experience and taking Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation as a case study
When I was a teenager, my thoughts about life and work was very simple and straightforward; get a degree in medicine immmeditaely after secondary school, start work as a medical doctor, marry a beautiful wife, have kids, help my community in academic and philantropic efforts and grow old. However, because life is not so simplistic as I was, situations did not directly conform to my ideals of life and work. I finished secondary school at the age of 16 in 2001 but I will have to wait seven years to gain admission into the University, not because I was not interested in pursuing a degree at that time or lack the potentials for a University degree but the prevailing conditions of my country's educational system and my own economic background were mainly responsible for the seven years of waiting. My experience was not unique, Nigeria has a So, I had to earn a living for myself because I was then considered an adult and had to prepare for my university education at the same time. Left in this quagmire, the maxim that necessity is the mother of invention had to prove true in my situation because there were no humane jobs available that I could do. So I applied for a post of a primary school teacher in a community adult education school. The pay was ridiculous, less than $5 a month but the experience I gained in pedagogy was immense. Six months into the job, I got a better teaching job in an established private primary school. The pay was eight times bigger than the former job but my experience in the previous job proved useful when my skills were tested in the classroom before I was employed. I learnt a lesson here that it takes time and patience to increase one's value so I imbibed the culture of continous skills acquisition and value creation. I took the teaching job seriously and did my research into topics before I taught them so I could explore simpler angles of teaching topics to my kids and fruits started yielding as parents began to request for my home tutorial service. The home tutorial service I rendered for just 3 hours in the evening brought me twice my monthly salary.
In the following year, which was 2005, my service was so much in high demand that I, with my friend and a senior colleague in school, had to create a network of private tutorial classes and employ brilliant secondary school leavers to handle the excess demands.
I went from being jobless to creating jobs for other youths, who already had values they could sell but either did not know they have it or had no access to people who need it.
My experience has taught me that unemployment itself is a either a problem of lack of values or lack of access to people who can pay for the value one creates.
The solution to unemployment therefore largely relies on making our institutions of learning even from the high school value-creation oriented and we will be surprised at how much of values lies in our youth. Our current institutions of learning are so organized and far from the current societal and industrial needs that they do not prepare youths for the work life.