Dr. Andy Ikekhide
Speaking to journalists at the maiden edition of Faith Iyowuna Ikekhide Foundation (FIIF), Chairman of the Foundation, Dr. Andy Ikekhide, said the government should make school curriculum to be result oriented. University environment should also be conducive for learning while calling on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to play supportive role and partner with the government.
He advocated for skill acquisition to be taught in secondary schools to equip youths before gaining admission into the tertiary institutions.
So what’s today’s event all about sir?
This event is for FIIF, an empowerment programme. Personally, my life has been a product of God’s benevolence. God has been faithful to us and we feel that the best thing to do is to look for ways of assisting the less privilege and impacting younger generation.
Since God has given us grace then we should give back to the people so that the best way we can feel fulfilled is when these young ones survived, fulfilled and succeed. We have been going out to various schools impacting and guiding them on their career.
Many things happen today among the children. We feel that in our own space we can do little and give back to the society. This is an empowerment programme that is why we use the forum to talk to the youths on mentor issues and they will be trained on certain skills. They need to be equipped. Schools that are relevant to the society will equip youths to be able to work with their hands and be valuable to the society and family.
This is what we are doing here today.
What is the importance of empowerment comparing to educational challenges with getting employment?
Over time we have seen that there is a gap between the educational curriculum and what happens in the outside world. When people graduate, they don’t find job because relevant skills are not learnt in the school. We are looking at how institutions and private enterprise can bridge the gap so that we can ensure that what is thought in school is relevant.
This is just part of it and as you look around there are various trades that are being taught on how to cope so that apart from what is learnt, they can be meaningful to themselves and their society and do things on their own. I will go round to test what they have done in order to build confidence and be motivated.
You are doing well and I appreciate what you are doing but there is a better way to do it.
I want them to look at things professionally so that they will have entrepreneurial mentality. They need to be enterprising and translate the skills into profitable venture such that they can be profitable for their families, society and at large the nation.
What’s your advice to the government?
My advice to the government is that they need to make school curriculum to be result oriented not just academic because academic activities is just a bunch of knowledge but knowledge that will profit is a knowledge that can be applied. Even in the higher institution you will find out that some professors are still using the notebook they used ten years ago.
Things are changing and knowledge doubles every five years and it is increasing. They need to be dynamic. If we want to be where God wants us to be educationally as a nation, we need to update the entire curriculum.
I understand history is back into the curriculum, which is good. We are not in touch with reality. I believe that if government can do it, it will be good. A situation where the university system is closed for months, it is completely unacceptable.
The university lecturers should be encouraged and the environment should be made conducive for learning.
As a Foundation, we went to place for crusade and discovered that a primary school in that place was dilapidated. We decided to transform the place before we commenced the crusade because it is not conducive for learning.
We had to make sacrifice ensuring that the school five classrooms block was renovated in order for it to be conducive for learning.
The Foundation bought some chairs for the school. The government can do everything but should create an enabling environment for private enterprises to support and partner with them.
This can be done through joint partnership. For FIIN, the pillar for which it stands is called SHEEP. S-stands for skill acquisition which is being done at present. H is for healthcare. A crusade will be held here and there will be healthcare facilities for those who need it. E is for educational services. We are working on producing books for the schools and the children which is a way of enhancing their lessons. The second E stands for entrepreneurship. The children should be trained not just to gather knowledge but to have entrepreneurial mentality while the P is for partnership.
No single NGO can do it alone. We had to work in partnership with similar NOGs and the government. Government has to work in partnership with us so that we can give education to the children. The situation is not hopeless and I believe we can make it.
Are there challenges in the course of carrying out this empowerment programme?
Of course there are challenges. Most of the challenges we have is the economy and working within the space. You can really make long term plans because of high inflation.
But we try to do the little we can and within what the economy can allow.