1.1 Background of the Study
Today every professional want to establish and commercialize their talents and skills. To do this successfully, it has been discovered that they have to learn the rudiments of running a modern commercial enterprise which is becoming more difficult because of the increasing complexities of factors affecting the running of such enterprise, particularly the environment. Entrepreneurship is gradually becoming a popular field of study to many students, men and women of different profession because of the modern day emphasis on private enterprise as the vehicle for healthy economic development.
The Key to the success of establishing a culture of entrepreneurship in Africa is education and training that depends on all stakeholders, the state, educators and learners. Apart from the educational impact and influence, the school is the place where most (holistic) profound impact can be brought about in the development of the youth (Njoroge and Gathungu, 2013). The essence of entrepreneurship education is to build in the students, entrepreneurship spirit and culture (Akpomi, 2009; Adejimola and Olufunmilayo, 2009). Entrepreneurship education recognized as one of the vital determinants that could influence students’ career decisions (Kolvereid and Moen, 1997; Peterman and Kennedy, 2003). The inability of graduates to contribute meaningfully to economic development through self-employment informed the introduction of entrepreneurship education in schools.
Scholars in their various views have also supported the need for higher institutions to inculcate entrepreneurial spirits into their products. For instance, Nwangwu (2007) in his view supported entrepreneurial education and also argued that graduates with adequate skills and training will be creative and innovative in identifying noble business opportunities. Fayolle (2004) and Bhandari (2006) observed that more institutions have adopted a wide range of entrepreneurship programmes and training activities which appears to be influencing students in terms of generating entrepreneurial interest and going into the business of the choices. Soutaris, Zerbinati and Al-Lahan (2006) revealed that entrepreneurial programmes raise attitudes and behaviour capable of provoking entrepreneurial intentions among youths who have interest in the economic development of their nation.
The structural adjustment programme (SAP) introduced in the early 1986 by the then military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida had actually brought to the open, the problem inherent in the Nigerian economy. Unfortunately the impression Nigerians had was that money was not the problem but “how to spend it”. Since then and with the laying off of workers and the retirement of many unemployment has been rising phenomenally to the extent that government itself may not actually know the correct figure of the unemployed or the rate of unemployment today.
The problem of unemployment has been further worsened by various factors which are peculiar to Nigerian situation. These include poor planning, political instability-long period of military rule and mono-economy (heavy dependence on oil with its price fluctuations in the world market).
The inability of government at various levels to tackle the problem of employment has made these governments to popularize the saying that “government cannot provide jobs for everybody and that people should learn to be self-employed. Before now many people had, especially the educated and always depended on government for employment after graduation from school. Many who constituted the ruling class today especially in Nigeria started their careers from government employment (Olagunju, 2004).
Since the early 1980s many graduates are carrying on well since they have established their businesses. These businesses include: poultry farming, commercial transportation, distributive trade, industrial cleaning, estate agency, laundry and dry cleaning, protective agency, etc. these enterprises are established and managed by individuals who desire to be economically independent and also want to contribute their quota to the development of the nation. Today everyone has imbibed the spirit and enterprises are spreading all over the place, cities, towns and villages across the country.
In order to make Nigerian graduates more resourceful and self-reliant, the Federal Ministry of education introduced entrepreneurship education into the curricula of the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education through their regulatory and supervisory agencies – National Universities commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE). This became expedient in order to offer a realistic approach to solving the endemic problem of unemployment facing the nation. Thus, entrepreneurship development has since been made a compulsory course for all students in the three levels of tertiary education irrespective of students’ areas of specialization (Yahya, 2011).
1.2 Statement of the problems
The rate of unemployment among Nigerian graduates is a threat to the nation’s economy as tertiary institutions produces graduates yearly without commensurate job opportunities. Ekpo, (2010) succinctly stated that a study carried out by the Federal Ministry of Education from 2005-2010 showed that seventy one percent (71%) of graduate students from Nigerian Universities and other forms of tertiary institutions are yet to get job. Similarly, Nwachukwu, (2012) reported that Economic Survey in 2011 showed that unemployment rate in Nigeria is at 23.9%. In other words, over 38 million Nigerians are unemployed. It is disturbing to acknowledge that a greater number of this percentage are graduates from Nigeria universities, colleges of education and polytechnics who roam the street and in the job markets looking for non existing jobs for lack of entrepreneurial skills. Lack of entrepreneurial skills is no doubt a major contributing factor to the problem of unemployment of graduates in Nigeria (Adebisi & Oni, 2012). The incidence of graduate unemployment is attributed to the educational system operated during pre and post independence era in the country which placed emphasis on liberal education rather than acquisition of vocational skills which prepares school leavers and graduates with vocational skills for better employment opportunities. Again, in spite of federal government efforts to create 2 million jobs every year, most Nigerian university graduates fail to get employed (Babalola, 2007). This is evident as many graduates stay 3-4 or more years after graduation before getting a job or no job at all. Based on these pathetic situations, it interests the researcher to investigate the relationship between entrepreneurship education and self employment in Rivers State to bridge the gap.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between entrepreneurship education and self employment in Rivers State. Specifically, other objectives are as follows;
1. To examine the extent to which skills relates with self employment in Rivers State.
2. To examine the extent to which knowledge associate with self employment in Rivers State.
3. To examine the extent to which entrepreneurship education relates with self employment in Rivers State.
1.4 Research Questions
1. To what extent does skills relates with self employment in Rivers State?
2. To what extent does knowledge associate with self employment in Rivers State?
3. What is the relationship between entrepreneurship education and self employment in Rivers State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses are formulated to guide the study.
H01: There is no significant relationship between skills and self employment in Rivers State.
H02: There is no significant relationship between knowledge and self employment in Rivers State.
H03: There is no significant relationship between entrepreneurship education and self employment in Rivers State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of benefit to university lecturers, students, government and the university management. The study will show to them the causes, the effects of self-employment and the need for entrepreneurship education in solving the problem of youth unemployment in Rivers State and Nigeria at large.
To university lecturers, the study will unveil to them the areas to concentrate in the school syllabus in order to develop entrepreneurial minds of students for creative employment and also help the show the need for introducing entrepreneurship education into the school curriculum in Nigeria.
To the parents, the study of their children during child birth and training cannot be determined towards the course of study in higher institution. Lastly, the findings from the study will show to the government the role of entrepreneurship education in solving the problem of unemployment in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited under the following heading: content scope, geographical scope and unit of analysis.
Content Scope: The content scope of this study involves an investigation to ascertain the relationship between entrepreneurship education and self-employment in Rivers State. The dependent variable is Self-employment, measured by job creation and business opportunities. While independent variable is entrepreneurship education measured by skills and knowledge.
Geographical Scope: This study is delimited in Port Harcourt Metropolis with reference to some selected markets in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Unit of Analysis: The unit of analysis in this research involves the respondents at the time of the study. Hence it is a macro level study.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In course of carrying out this research, the researcher met with a lot of constraints. Among these constraints is: The time frame which this research was expected to be completed which was too short.
Secondly, the cost in carrying out this research work act as a barrier as we were not financially buoyant to carry out all investigation.
Finally, assembling the relevant materials needed this work was a problem. It is difficult due to the fact that some of the respondents were not willing to give us the required coorperation.
1.9 Definition of Terms
For the better understanding of this research work, some of the terms and concepts used need further explanation. These includes
Unemployment: Unemployment occurs when people are without work and actively seeking for work. It is a situation where someone of working age is not able to get a job but would like to be in full time employment. Unemployment is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a parentage by dividing the number of unemployed individual by all individuals currently in the labour force.
Entrepreneurship Education: Entrepreneurship Education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurship education focuses on realization of opportunity, where management education is focused on the best way to operate existing hierarchies. Both approaches share an interest in achieving “profit” in some form and variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels of schooling from primary or secondary schools through graduate university programs.
Perception: Perception is the act or facility of perceiving or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind, perception is the organization identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of sense organs.
Self-employment: A self-employed individual does not work for a specific employer who pays them a consistent salary or wage. Self-employed individuals, or independent contractors, earn income by contracting with a trade or business directly.
Employment: It is an agreement between an employer and an employee that the employee will provide certain services on the job.
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