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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The activities of entrepreneurial education in the empowerment of youths in Nigeria have increased overtime. Gone are those days during the era of oil-boom back in the 1970s when a graduate gets easily absorbed into any available job vacancies. But all these changed in the mid-1980s, with worldwide depression and significant depression in the Nigeria’s economy. This resulted in unemployment around the world, most especially developing countries such as Nigeria.
The outcome of the high rate of unemployment was social vices like armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom. More recent is the global economic meltdown that led to youth and graduate unemployment to hit the roof. In this regards, various governmental and non-governmental organizations have initiated policies through support agencies such as National Directorate for Employment (NDE), the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Raw Materials and Development Council (RMRDC) among others to address the problems of unemployment among Nigerian citizens (Olayinka 2010, Emmanuel 2012, Akluemonkhan, Raimi and Sofoluwe 2013).
The aim of these programmes, agencies and councils was with the belief that the development of self-employment and small enterprise initiatives would unlock the economic potentials of the people increase the capacity to empower and equip individuals in society to participate and benefit from their national economy as well as facilitates economic development which forms the bases for transformation (Ekpo and Edet 2011 in Babatunde and Babatunde 2014). Admittedly, in line with the National Productively Day of 21st February, 1991 theme of “Productivity for Self-Reliance and Excellence”, the Nigeria government introduced entrepreneurship education in schools as a pathway to stimulate self-sufficiency, self-sustainability and self-support culture in students.
The aim is to ensure graduates take advantage of personal resourcefulness to be self-employed. This is because entrepreneurship concerns the persistent pursuit of opportunities to create wealth through innovative creation of a product or service that meets customers’ needs, using score resources in a way that results in a growth enterprise which satisfies the expectation of stakeholders whose roles sustain the business. Entrepreneurship education provides knowledge, skills attitude and motivation to students for entrepreneurial success in any setting. It equips people with the ability to seek investment opportunities (Azonuche and Umeri, 2012). The study in this regard wishes to examine entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youth in akwa Ibom state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
What really instigated the study on entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youth in Akwa Ibom state was as a result of high crime rate and unemployment in akwa Ibom state. The rate of unemployment has significantly affected the socio-economic well being of the youth in Nigeria (Okon, 2004). Most research has been done on entrepreneurial education but just very few have been done on entrepreneurial education and self-reliance in Nigeria.
Previous studies have failed to identify the causes of poor self-reliance among youths in Nigeria; the effect is seen mostly among graduates in Nigeria.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research is to examine entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State. Other specific objectives of the study include:
1. to examine the relationship between entrepreneurial education and self-reliance
2. to determine the effect of entrepreneurial education on well being of youths in Akwa Ibom State
3. to determine the contribution of entrepreneurial education to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths in Akwa Ibom State.
4. to investigate on the factors affecting self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education in Akwa Ibom State.
5. to proffer solution to the above stated problem
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
1. What is the relationship between entrepreneurial education and self-reliance?
2. What is the effect of entrepreneurial education on well being of youths in Akwa Ibom State?
3. What are the contribution of entrepreneurial education to skills acquisition and reduction of unemployment among youths in Akwa Ibom State?
4. What are the factors affecting self-reliance and the actualization of entrepreneurial education in Akwa Ibom State?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Entrepreneurial education does not influence self-reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State
H1: Entrepreneurial education influences self-reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of this study brings to the fore the crucial need for entrepreneurial education and self reliance in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria as a whole, putting more consideration on the educational system, strategies and its eventual social developmental effect in the society.
The study highlights the problems of the level of education in the country and its equivalence to level of poverty in the society by virtue of lack of employment or knowledge of how to startup businesses; the resultant effect of which is a society that breeds healthy partnership and motivation, impacting on the development in the nation.
However, the contribution of this research work to knowledge identifies what is important to the youths and the economy of Nigeria, which is qualitative entrepreneurial education focused on the needs of the youths especially during this period of unemployment, rather than the resolution of the United Nations to increase budgetary details, increasing the people that go through school. This is not the study on entrepreneurial education and self reliance; however, it contributes to the body of literature on the subject area and brings to light the results in order to ascertain which strategy would eventually work for the youths in akwa Ibom state in truly eradicating unemployment in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study examines the role of entrepreneurial education and self reliance among youths in Akwa Ibom State, its significance in the stimulation of the entrepreneurship skills in future graduates in order to reduce unemployment in Nigeria. The study considered the undergraduates of the current university teaching system (University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State), from third to the final year, assumably those who gained admission into the university in the last three (3) years. The study considers entrepreneurial skills of undergraduate to be relevant because of its immediate impact on the future of Nigeria.
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