DIRECTORATE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
ALVAN IKOKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, OWERRI
Motto: “Knowledge, creativity and skill for self reliance”
The realization by the Federal Government of Nigeria that the previous efforts geared towards tackling the disturbing level of unemployment in the country particularly among youths, were not yielding the expected dividends , led to the directive that compulsory programmes on Entrepreneurship Education should be introduced in all institutions of higher learning in the country.
In compliance to the Federal Government directives, the College promptly set up a Department of Entrepreneurship Education in the School of General Studies, where three compulsory courses on Entrepreneurship are taught to students. These courses are:
1. CED 341: Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation
2. CED 342: Business creation and growth
3. GSE 224: Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (for NCE students only)
Furthermore, for effective coordination and supervision of the practical component of Entrepreneurship Education which is key to equipping youths with functional skills that will make them productive and self reliant, a Centre for Entrepreneurship Education was set up.
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education (CEE), AIFCE was established in 2012 with Dr. R.E. Onuoha as the Pioneer Director. He was succeeded by the incumbent Director, Dr. Stella Lemchi in November 2015. The Director of the Centre is directly responsible to the Provost of the College for the day to day operations and administration of the Centre.
The Directorate envisions a Modern Centre of Excellence in entrepreneurial skills acquisition, whose products will set the pace in creativity, entrepreneurship/job creation and subsequently promote self reliance and sustainable economy.
To promote and nurture the development of entrepreneurial spirit and thus sound entrepreneurs, through training, innovativeness for self-reliance and sustainable economic development.
The real essence of Entrepreneurship education is to ensure the improvement and educational quality by equipping the youths with basic skills that will make them functional and productive in the society. Good quality entrepreneurship training is imperative to achieving a sustainable empowerment among the youths, as it helps to promote the development of ideas, skills, knowledge, values, understanding, actions and behaviors for self reliance.
Unlocking of ‘ideas’ in youths is considered imperative and invariably is closely linked to one of the notable quotes of Medgar Evers that says, “You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.”
In more specific terms, the Objectives of the Centre include to,
1. Promote entrepreneurial ideas and mindset in the students/ youths. Redirecting the minds of the youths from ‘job seekers’ to ‘job creators’.
2. Provide the students/youths with ample opportunities in a conducive environment for a hands on training that will enhance their self- confidence in the world of entrepreneurship
3. Produce self reliant individuals and employers of labour among the College graduates, thus reducing the level of unemployment in the country.
4. Create and promote Entrepreneurial awareness and opportunities within the College.
5. Assist the College increase her internally generated revenue (IGR) from the sales of products/services of the Centre.
6. Enhance the College contributions to the wider society by sharing best practices through collaborations.
7. Organize training workshops and seminars from time to time on entrepreneurship and skill acquisition to persons outside the College community as part of her corporate responsibility.
Activities of the Directorate
The activities of the Directorate presently are as follows:
a. Provision of practical skills training for undergraduates that are offering the compulsory GS Entrepreneurship courses (CED 342 & GS 224). To ensure effective skill acquisition, the practical hours have been included in the College time table to run throughout the semester. This is to enable the students have adequate exposure to the skills training.
b. Design and introduction of Entrepreneurship Log-book for the students taking part in the skills training to enable them follow the process progressively to the end.
c. Engagement/ collaboration with skilled resource persons and small business owners to engage the students during the practical sessions. Sometimes the resource persons come around outside the practical hours to guide any student that comes in at his/her spare time to learn a skill of interest.
d. The Training is a compulsory part of the assessment for the Theoretical courses, with marks allotted, such that any student that did not participate in the practical sessions will not be considered eligible to write the theory examination.
e. Coordination and supervision of practical training in the following entrepreneurial fields:
- Hair Barbing
- Hair Dressing and Fixing
- Bead making and Bead accessories
- Dress making/ Decoration
- Confectionaries/Snacks production
- Body cream/ Perfume/ Body spray production
- Liquid soap/ Disinfectant/Bleach
- Air Freshener/ Germicides
- Animal/ Fishery production
- Crop production/ Container Agriculture
- Tie and Dye/ Batik making
- Paint production
- Music production/ Recording
- Furniture production
- Metal work/ Fabrication
- Computer Operations
- Photography/ Greeting Cards production
- Drawing and Painting
f. The Centre also collaborates with other units in the College in programmes/projects that add value to the Vision and objectives of the Centre. Such units include the Directorate for Gender and Youth Development, Directorate for Research and Human Resource Development among others.
It is noteworthy that many students/youths that have passed through the practicals skill training acquired functional skills and some have started income generating ventures while still in school, whereas some that have graduated have started small businesses and are self-employed. Youth empowerment is crucial because youths are the backbone of the development of any country The benefits of building the youths for tomorrow are quite enormous and cannot be overemphasized.
CEE Future Directions
1. To establish Entrepreneurship education as a full Faculty level course / as a Bachelor Degree Course, instead of as General courses (GS) as are presently being done. The Nigerian University Commission (NUC) has already given a nod to this. Curriculum review needs to be more extensive and include active learning strategies because Entrepreneurship education activities are real life vehicle for developing functional skills.
2. Explore opportunities for collaboration with other higher institutions nationally and internationally, in a continuing bid to improve entrepreneurship education practice.
3. Explore new opportunities for internal revenue generation through provision of new services and products.
4. To establish a quality control unit to help certify in collaboration with relevant national agencies, the standards of products from the Centre.
5. To engage the business community in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) by building collaborations.
6. To encourage the formation of a Club/Association of student entrepreneurs, which will as well encourage networking and advocacy.
7. To engage with the Directorate on Research and Human Resources Development to conduct Tracer Studies on graduates of the CEE training programmes to determine the extent to which the Vision of producing self- reliant individuals are being realized. This will assist the Directorate to periodically re-assess it’s operations and re-strategize for greater efficiency
Dr. Stella N. Lemchi