I am not particularly knowledgeable about the Nigerian job market, but I am wondering what are the mechanisms by which you will secure a supply of jobs for you program participants? Will there be partnerships between local employers and your program? Are there enough jobs on the market to cater to your estimated 500 program participants? Also, I noted that you said that 60 to 70% of disabled persons in Nigeria are unemployed due to widespread stigmatization of disabilities; and so my question is how do you intend to overcome this stigma and engender relationships with local employers? I would like to finish by stating that this is a very significant and admirable idea, and that these were just some questions that came to mind while reading your proposal.
Thank you for your speedy response. I realize that simply asking students "what problem do you want to solve?" is a great start to initiating your proposed paradigm shift, but my concern lies in how this paradigm is supposed to be sustained. The prototypes you provided only follow individual students for a matter of days, and every child is different. How is simply asking "what problem you want to solve?" supposed to help students dispel pressures "to declare a single major or career pathway before they have a chance to explore a deeper understanding of the actual needs of the issue or to focus their own passion" without supplying a wealth of resources that facilitate the development of student interests throughout their academic career? Aforementioned in my first post, such a project seemingly requires a lot of resources that low income schools do not possess. I am not writing to discount this project or your experience with Appalachian Eastern Kentucky school districts because obviously it has been working in those low income schools, but I am having a hard time visualizing this paradigm working on a national, or even greater regional scale, if they only thing the students can expect from Google is the question of "what problem do you want to solve?" My 3rd graders just had to write an essay about what problems they want to solve in NYC and it certainly has not changed the way in which they consume education.
I think service-learning in the higher education classroom is of great benefit to students, and usually of much more benefit to the partnering firms because they are basically receiving a wealth of ideas and feedback at very little cost. However, I am wondering if this initiative really tackles the problem of post-grad preparedness. How does this initiative differ from an internship or fellowship that many students acquire during their college careers? Wouldn't an internship lend a certain amount of preparedness to any student especially if that student intends to work within that same field? Potentially even that same office? While I totally agree that higher education is currently a bubble that has been inflating since the Reagan era of the 1980s, I wouldn't conflate the average higher education student's need to get into better schools and stay in school longer with unpreparedness. On the contrary, wouldn't highly educated students who felt the need to acquire tons of leadership experience, extracurricular activities, and internships arguably be extremely prepared to enter their target companies? I would implore you to consider that perhaps highly educated college grads are only perceived as not "ready for the real world" as there is a lot of literature detailing the negative stereotypes that currently befall the millennial generation especially in the workplace.