#BounceExclusive: How Your Organisation Is Making Graduates 'Unemployable'
There is a lot of talk about Nigerian graduates not being employable, but very little has been said about the real reason they seem not to fit into the work space.
As some of us will say they cannot think critically or analyse situations objectively.
One thing is certain now; there is a fundamental problem with the nation’s education system.
What is taught in classrooms are basically regurgitated to pass exams but never implemented to solve real life challenges.
But that is not the focus in this piece. While they are undergraduates especially during the pen-ultimate year, students are giving time off to work as interns in public and private organisations.
The Nigerian government runs a system that is supposed to aid learning and prepare graduates for jobs in different companies. One aspect of this system is the Compulsory Internship program.
The internship period offers undergraduates a chance to learn in a formal environment while participating in various aspects of the workflow.
Most times these students find these offices, apply for internship with them, but what follows is something that brings tears to the eyes.
Some are out-rightly deprived of the opportunity through rejection by these companies who are usually not willing to even pay stipends. Yet, other students are even willing to undertake this internship without pay, but no company is willing to offer them this opportunity.
Some of the students who find a place are not respected neither are they given a fair chance to learn the rudiments.
YOU and YOUR COLLEAGUES reading this turn them into errand boys and girls.
They buy food, water, go to markets, baby sit, drive and make deliveries for you.
This practice has undoubtedly made some of the students to go through their internship without gaining any knowledge or skills.
Bounce News spoke to some interns about their experiences and their testimonies are awful.
Chinwe Joy said: "They can send interns to buy something like 5 times. Some won't say thank you. One will say: ‘Oh you didn’t see Maltina, go back and buy Malta Guinness.
"When you come back and say ‘Ahhh, 'no Malta Guinness at all!' he will say 'Ok! go back and buy Amstel Malt'”.
Adeleke Toluwalashe said: "It is really crazy, when a young person gets excited about the opportunity of working in a media house and when you finally get into the firm you are no less an errand person. It is really crazy and I think this really has to stop".
Akinwunmi Yusroh said: “It's a terrible experience. At a point, I was wondering why I kukuma wasn't given a letter as the newsroom messenger”.
When Bounce News asked Abisoye Adeyiga if she was ever sent on an errand during her internship, she said: “Soooooooooooo many people".
If you really love this country, this has to stop.
On the flip side are also some of you students who enjoy running these errands because you are afraid to show your own incompetence.
That is self-deceit.
No student in the tertiary institution or even a fresh graduate will know everything he/she should know about his chosen profession.
Just dive into the internship and be willing to make mistakes, ask questions and learn.
So they next time someone walks up to you on a very annoying Monday morning and says "Good afternoon Sir/Ma, my name is Kunle, I am the new intern"; just smile and say "welcome make you learn all you can before you leave."