1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of education's aims is to guarantee that all young people and adults have fair access to suitable learning and life skills. The supply of practical skills is, in reality, an essential component of the Nigerian educational system.
Human resources are the most important assets for every organization's efficient and successful administration. Due to its contributions to the expansion of the national economy, entrepreneurship education has undoubtedly taken on a new dimension. As a result, educational regulatory bodies across the country, including the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and others, have been ordered to include entrepreneurship education in their curricula (Babalola, 2010). Unemployment, underemployment, poverty, sickness, and a severe lack of infrastructure amenities beset most developing nations, including Nigeria. As of 2000, the unemployment rate among Nigerian school leavers and graduates was worrisome. High unemployment had already contributed to increased poverty and major social issues in Nigeria by the time the military relinquished government in 1999. (Babalola, 2010). According to available data from the National Bureau of Statistics, inflation is quite high at 9.6%, and unemployment is at 24%, the highest in roughly 16 years (Daily Sun, 2016).
The Obasanjo government ordered that all university students in Nigeria, regardless of major, be exposed to entrepreneurship education in order to stem the flood of unemployment in the nation. This is in recognition of the fact that Nigeria's education in two major sectors, namely, information and communication technology and entrepreneurship education, would need to become more globalized. To this purpose, the UNESCO Section for Vocational and Technical Education, in collaboration with the Nigerian National Board for Technical Education, anchored a project aimed at better preparing a significant number of young Nigerians for the workplace (UNESCO, 2000).
Nigeria is now dealing with a significant unemployment crisis, as well as a deteriorating quality of living, rising disparities between the country's urban and rural regions, and insufficient social and physical infrastructure to fulfill the demands of a quickly expanding population (Ferej, 2009). Many jobless people have resorted to menial employment to make ends meet, while others have gone to the informal sector to start small businesses, mostly as merchants.
In the past, a common method to addressing the issue of limited work prospects was to build massive industrial complexes that were supposed to provide a significant number of jobs and improve the local economy (Charmes, 2010). This strategy was mostly ineffective since it was capital-intensive in a country with low capital, such as Nigeria. It really created few new job possibilities and widened the wealth divide between the affluent and the poor. As a result of this approach's failure, official development initiatives are increasingly focusing on the growth of small businesses in the informal sector run by self-employed people.
While small business formation seems to have a lot of employment growth potential in Nigeria, the effect of new job creation in the informal sector may be restricted for a variety of reasons. First, rather than being the outcome of planned plans within an overarching government policy framework, most of the expansion of private firms in the informal sector in Nigeria has been spontaneous. Second, although a huge number of small businesses may be developed, their chances of becoming medium-sized businesses are restricted (House, Ikiara and McCormick, 2010). The lack of expansion may be attributed to a market oversupply of comparable commodities, a lack of management and technical skills, a lack of capital, and poor product quality (House et al, 2010). Small business growth is increasingly being seen as critical to the attainment of government's larger goals. Poverty reduction, economic progress, and the rise of more pluralistic communities are among them (International Labour Organization, 2000).
The acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities, and competencies, both mental and physical, as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his society, is one of the nation's educational aims and objectives, as stated in the National Policy on Education (FGN, 2014).
The goal of entrepreneurship education is to prepare people to work in businesses as both workers and employers. An entrepreneurial education, according to Popham (2001), is intended to teach the recipient how to efficiently and successfully harness and use existing human, material, and financial resources for the creation of products and services.
Entrepreneurship education has gotten a lot of press recently. In Nigeria, the government lays a larger focus on entrepreneurship development. The National Universities Commission (1989) sent an authorized Minimum Academic Standard for the teaching of courses in business schools at the undergraduate level to all tertiary institutions, as well as a mandatory course on entrepreneurial development. Several efforts have been made to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit via research and the establishment of entrepreneurship programs in both educational institutions and entrepreneurship research centers (Akpomi, 2009).
While acknowledging the importance of education in shaping a nation's culture and destiny, it should also be understood that a significant departure from traditional methods of doing things is required, particularly in the manner of training and teaching in Nigerian universities and other institutions. As a result, entrepreneurial education at the university level and other higher institutions must be prioritized. This should be focused on alternative teaching techniques that will harness, instill, and develop the entrepreneurial abilities of younger generations, as well as increase their potential for entrepreneurial skills, which will stimulate economic growth and development, resulting in job creation (Nkang, 2013).
The goal of entrepreneurship education is to inspire and teach people to start new firms and generate self-employment possibilities for themselves and others. Entrepreneurship education fosters human and commercial interests and potentials, as well as the development of management skills and positive interpersonal relationships, which are essential for a firm's success. Entrepreneurship education allows young people to develop abilities linked to essential entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and attitudes, such as recognizing business opportunities, generating ideas, and marshaling resources for the start-up and operation of a firm (Oduma, 2012). Unemployment is one of the most serious developmental issues confronting any emerging economy in the twenty-first century (Ewhrudjakpor, 2010). The rising unemployment rate among the young in Edo State has become a source of concern for the administration and all well-intentioned citizens. To resolve this issue, an intentional intervention is required. In 2008, the Nigerian Federal Government admitted that 80% of Nigerian youngsters are unemployment, with 10% underemployed (Daily Trust, 2008). According to Abdullahi (2009), the then-Minister of Youth Development, 42.2 percent of Nigerian youth are unemployed. Oyedokun (2010), the then-chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Social Development, said that 23 million of the country's over 40 million jobless youngsters are unemployable, highlighting the need to define what can be done to improve the situation. The current scenario is concerning since the majority of graduates from the country's educational institutions lack important marketable skills (Adamu, 2010). Governments and policymakers in most developing nations, such as Nigeria, are increasingly finding it difficult to deal effectively with young unemployment. The absence of proper provision for job creation in development plans, the ever-expanding educational growth, and the urgent desire on the part of adolescents to get university education regardless of course and course contents are all factors contributing to the high percentage of unemployment. As a consequence, a lot of university-acquired abilities seem to be dysfunctional and irrelevant (Okafor, 2011).
The unemployment crisis is especially pitiful, since the number of graduates from different colleges searching for work is growing by the day. It is important to mention that entrepreneurial education may help to correct this unsatisfactory scenario. It may be a tool for securing jobs and emancipating people by providing and acquiring the required information and skills to make citizens' lives more meaningful. These can only be realized if higher institutions provide high-quality entrepreneurial education.
Gender is a phrase used to categorize humans as masculine, feminine, or neuter (Webster, 2007). Males are more involved in entrepreneurial activities, hence gender concerns are prominent in every significant debate about entrepreneurship education. This, without a doubt, contributes to the greater percentage of female unemployment in Nigeria, where women account for 45 percent of the 70 percent jobless population (Beaver, 2010). According to the World Economic Forum (2011), women are employed at a lower rate than males, with just 80% of men working. It's no surprise that Audretsch (2012) believes that including more women in economic production would considerably boost the global economy while simultaneously ensuring gender equality and family well-being.
Entrepreneurship education is available at several levels throughout the Nigerian educational system. Due of the rising rate of unemployment in Nigeria, the government has begun to provide entrepreneurship instruction at different institutions at various levels. Universities, Polytechnics, Monotechnics, and Colleges of Education are the most common tertiary institutions. These institutions are either publicly held or privately owned. State government and federal government-owned institutions are two types of public-owned entities. Entrepreneurship education is often taught as a general subject for all students at various levels at postsecondary institutions.