Your Brief Bio:
Toluse Dove Francis obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Bowen University, Osun State Nigeria.
He knew he wanted more than a degree in Biochemistry hence he enrolled with Alison Institute in the Republic of Ireland where He obtained diplomas in Mental Health Studies, Human Nutrition and recently in Psychology. He is a Certified Life Coach and Practitioner, Neuro-linguistic programming by the American Union of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
He is an author of books selling across the globe on Amazon and Lulu among which is Beyond Blue: a step by step to coping with grief and loss, preventing and managing depression.
His new book is a short guide on managing stress.
Toluse is a speaker, blogger and podcaster. He blogs and hosts his podcast, Eat Fit at www.tolusefrancis.com.
Asides writing, he is a mental health practitioner who helps people overcome grief and loss, depression and past.
He is the current holder of the Health Writer for the Year organised by the Nigerian Writers Award and a past winner of The Best Health Blog by the Nigerian Blog Awards
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
John is a skilled Nigerian who had to push himself to become multi-skilled. People like John are the the future of Afirca
Learning isn’t about sitting down within the four walls of a classroom except otherwise we are not on journey to versatility.
Anywhere I find myself is another opportunity to learn because for me it is the window to wisdom and gives me the ability to sit with elders.
I listen to people talk and share stories even if I won’t say a word.
I may be passive at listening (to the speaker at least) but my brain is always active and willing to pick salient points.
Now, I’d visited the barber’s shop to have a haircut because I decided I wanted a new look. My barber is good at his craft and that’s why he’s my barber.
John is a young man who probably would be in early twenties but didn’t have the opportunity of attending beyond secondary school. He however didn’t take to the streets to cause mayhem but chose to learn a skill and this skill would endear him to the heart of his customers.
John once told me how nobody wanted to teach him during his days of apprenticeship.
John had signed up to train as a hair stylist when to his surprise he saw female barbers. It is rare to see a man who is a female hair stylist yet John chose to tread the path only few men tread.
He decided he was going to learn barbing as well because he felt challenged seeing female barbers but they would turn him down. He walked up to them but was turned down several times with the excuse that he’s good at one, he should focus on that.
Being multi skilled isn’t a curse. Hone as much as you can.
Nevertheless, I feel strongly that what Africa needs now is a system that encourages youths to hone skills and use them to build viable businesses. It is not enough that they attain secondary school level of education but also key that they possess one or two skills.
White collar jobs aren’t as available as they used to be yet mouth must be fed and society developed therefore skills must be developed.
Moreover, learning a skill and still having the white collar job is an added advantage to any individual in Africa where the cost of living. It is imperative that we see skill building as part of the curriculum on our educational system.
Perhaps I should mention here that skill acquisition here doesn’t have to be limited to barbing, hair styling etc. but other technical skills such as metal fabrication, painting amongst others.
Skill acquisition is needed in the education sector. It contributes to the development of the nation’s human capital and is seen as essential for preparing one for employment. Thus an educated man is expected to manifest worthwhile disposition in the society, for his own development and the development of the society.
Significance of Skill Acquisition
Two decades after Nigeria’s independence, opportunities for employment abound for Nigerian graduates. In facts, it was the case that each recent graduate had at least three jobs from which to choose. Furthermore, the movement from school to job was virtually automatic. Today, it is very pathetic that the story line has changed as there is a disconnection between the world of learning and the world of work. Each job that appears in the labour market is now pursued by many old and new unemployed individuals because of the growing population. It is clear that there are increasingly fewer occupational opportunities for the unfortunate youths who lack the basic skills and knowledge. By implication, unemployment rate will increase which will be a menace to the society, thereby, slowing down the pace of development because of untapped potentials or talents that are lying idle. Therefore, there is the need for the unemployed individuals to learn and acquire new skills which would make them self-employed by setting up their own businesses to create jobs for others too. In some cases, where the few ones get a job, they are trained to acquire special skills before they can go ahead with the new job. I would opine that skill acquisition help people already on a job; intending to work in any of the varieties of occupations needed by the society. There is no job that does not require its own skill for manpower development.
The importance of skill acquisition to the development of the nation is of no small measure. Many of these construction industries, manufacturing industries, production industries, etc. are in daily need of trained personnel, technicians, technologists, engineers, etc. to carry out one job or the other. I am of the view that our industries need skilled and well-trained workers to ensure that goods manufactured in Nigeria are as good as those manufactured in other parts of the world.
The skills acquired by these young folks will prepare them for any specific job with a lifelong opportunity for self-development. This is because there will be competency, interest and job satisfaction to the highly skilled person to effectively and efficiently carry out that job successfully for higher productivity.
The acquisition of skills will prepare the individual to fit in readily to employment in all sectors of the economy.
Skill acquisition can help in the formulation of ideas, their integration for national development and the interaction of persons and ideas.
Prompt application of appropriate skill acquired would no doubt help to solve many of the perennial challenges arising from inadequacies and deficiencies of the traditional methods of teaching related subjects in our various institutions of learning.
The acquisition of skills for a particular job will provide for people who could apply relevant knowledge to be able to make positive changes within the society. Skill acquisition in other words could advance the nation in the following ways:
A well trained worker will be much more productive within the society, if he/she receives the required guidance in picking a career. Such an individual will no longer be a burden to the nation, it will make an individual to cultivate better attitude to work
Any individual who acquires skill will be able to show case his/her talents, make intelligent use of the brain in terms of new discoveries and innovation that will even upgrade individual status within the society.
When a skill is acquired in any discipline, it is assumed that the future gains that would result from it are of greater significance to productivity.
The growing concern over globalization, among other things, has made the acquisition of lifelong skills imperative for all categories of people. This is considered very important for future professionals’ growth because it will determine how successful and productive a person will be in the work place. Human capital is created when they acquire transferable skills that can be applied in many settings and occupations. It is an important index of sustainable development of any nation. In view of this, consider it as both a social prerogative and an economic necessity. With skill acquisition, one acquires capabilities to compete favourably within the context of globalization.
It is however not enough to talk about these skills but catching the young ones to hone these skills. You can imagine what it would look like if by primary school you have kids who are being trained in various skills formally. This would go a long way in bridging the gap between the aged and the youth.
Furthermore, this initiative would help build talents in the younger generation of individuals.
In light of the above, the following recommendations are made:
1. Entrepreneurial development must be mandatory in our schools to solve the problem of economic meltdown in our country.
2. Recruitment of more technicians should be encouraged to gear their interest.
3. Government, through the ministry of education should introduce these entrepreneurial skills into the school curriculum.
4. There should be more practical work to complement theory in our tertiary institutions of learning, to provide skilled labour for the economy.
5. Enough training facilities need to be provided to replace obsolete training equipment in this era of digitalization, in order to meet modern standard.
6. The wide gap between the classroom and the industry should be bridged by skill acquisition policy in every ramification. In fact, the ratio of theoretical to practical should be 30:70 because you learn what you see, you remember what you touch.
7. Secondary and post-secondary institutions curricula should be developed to suit the demands of labour market.
8. The Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) programme should be extended to the secondary schools during school vacation period while the fresh graduates go for one year industrial training after graduation.
9. Uneducated youths should be equipped with such skills as repair skills, maintenance skills, technical skills, accounting and record keeping skills and procedures of operation skills in order to be self-reliant.
10. Government should look into and improve programs that will encourage skill acquisition for our youths.
Back to my friend, John’s story
He left at the end of his training but didn’t give up on his quest to be skilled at barbing.
Today, John makes both males and females look good and it’s never a dull moment with him.
My dear friend, John’s story challenged me thus:
1. Let no man tell me I am skilled enough if deep within I want more
2. I can hone my skill and be the best I can be.
3. Give my customers a reason to always come back. Not just for the sake of the product, but for the way you warm their hearts.
Impossible is only a word you allow.
People like John are the future of Africa. Young men and women who go all out to hone their skills and make hearts glad while they make the money.