Best Projects 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Implementation of National Vocations Qualifications Framework for Under-Privileged People
Published on September 13, 2021 um 08:21
Professor/Chief Executive Officer
Type of Enterprise
Year the ngo or company was founded
Explain your project in details:
In Nigeria there is a huge population of unemployed youths both educated and non-educated. This has fuelled a lot of problems in the society. The present terrorism and banditry in the country has left a huge number of orphaned children as well as widows. In addition there is a population of street beggars called Almajiris that has contributed to this problem. From Internet it is estimated that there are 17.5 million orphans, 10 million street children and 3.5 million widows. This has fuelled the current terrorism in Nigeria as they act as a source of cheap personnel to be hired by insurgents and terrorists for various crimes such as suicide bombing and kidnapping for ransom. Creating an avenue of seriously engaging then will drastically improve their quality of life and also help in solving some of teething problems associated with their earlier way of life. These class of people are the ready source of workforce for terrorist organizations. Many of them are recruited and used for fighting and suicide bombing. Many of them have been arrested with bombs stropped and just 4 dollars paid to them in their pockets. Moving this class of people from the streets is what this proposal targets. The website for the School is: https://gracevilleschool.com.ng/. For our own, you can only start a business that you are trained for. The teachers in the school and instructors in the vocational section are the real mentors of these people unlike others that have separate mentors. Even before the issue of terrorism, there are very many street children that has caused a lot of headache for various states. Many of the street children who beg are big nuisance to the government and thus the government has been looking for a way.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
My Project targets at least five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), such poverty eradication, zero hunger, good health, good education, etc. My business is a School with crèche, nursery, primary and secondary schools with a Centre for Vocational Education and Training. The crèche, nursery and primary and secondary schools have children who pay some fees while others do not pay. Those who pay are those who can afford it because their parents are alive. That is how the business makes money. Then there is the second arm of pupils and students who are orphans, street children and widows. These do not have any means of livelihood. They are there to study for free. They are allowed to study so that they can get the basic education to read and write so that they can understand the trainers in the vocational centers. This is because if they do not understand English, training them becomes difficult as they will understand their instructors who use as the medium for instruction. Currently we have 120 orphans. We have to bring in widows when we get enough money to do that. We also even hope to bring unemployed youths. The idea is to be able to educate the orphans and widows and street children to the level they can understand instructions from their trainers. With the money we get from those who pay, we are able to meet all our business costs including the payment of salaries of staff. This also helps us to feed the orphans. The other model which will come up when we begin to really do other vocational subjects such as soap making, baking, tailoring, auto mechanics and a host of other trades. This will help to generate money as their products and services will be market-oriented.
Sustainability and future plans
My utmost success is to see my Centre for the Under-privileged persons grow into a University of Entrepreneurship. I coordinated a World Bank-assisted Education Project for Nigeria under the Federal Ministries of Education and Science and Technology. That opened up a lot ideas for me that can solve a lot of challenging problems in the nation. It can solve problems for the uneducated and the unemployed educated population. Under that Project we developed a sub-project called the National Vocations Qualifications Framework (NVQF) after the International Labor Organization (ILO) model for the illiterate population. We also set up a Centre of Excellence for Vocational Education and Training (VET) using the models of the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Korean Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET). Those are my target for my Grace Ville Schools/Centre for Creativity and Leadership. Those are my target for my Grace Ville Schools/Centre for Creativity and Leadership. In Nigeria many agencies of both government and the private sector are interested in solving the problem of spiraling, explosion of population. Apart from this, the influx into Nigeria from various West African countries is swelling the population and a large populations of Nigerians and the people from outside Nigeria are not educated. With all these the Government of Nigeria has no serious plans for the population, talk less of those from outside. That has led to the terrible conundrum which the country currently finds itself in. In the next three years I am interested in running a massive University dealing with all areas of technical vocation education and other attendant skills that can be learnt by both the educated and uneducated population to flood the West African Sub-Region with all items ranging from food to wears and production of spare parts for vehicles.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Currently I am 58 years old. I am a Professor of Pharmacy and I have coordinated a World Bank-Assisted Project and also was a Vice Chancellor at the University of Abuja, Nigeria. What made me to be interested to become an educational entrepreneur was the World Bank-assisted Education Project that I coordinated for the Federal Ministry of Education. Under that Project we developed various framework for National Vocational Qualifications in using the International Labor Organization (ILO) for groups of illiterate people. We also developed a Vocational Technical Education Standards in conjunction with the Korean Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET). I was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Dusseldorf in Germany (1999-2000), a Matsumae Fellow at Kyoto Pharmaceutical University in Japan (2002) and a Royal Society Fellow at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom (2006). I was a winner of the Nigerian Prize for Science (2006), winner of the May and Baker Prize for Excellence in the Practice of Pharmacy (2009) and Winner of the World Academy of Science Regional Prize for the Development of Materials for Use in the Developing Country (2019). I have won grants from various organizations such as the International Foundation for Science in Stockholm, Sweden (2002), The Third World Academy of Science, Trieste, Italy (2004), the Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom (2002), the Wellcome Nigeria Fund, Lagos, Nigeria (1993) and the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development Grant, Abuja (2008). I am a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, an Honorary Fellow of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, a Member of the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Leadership and Governance, USA and Fellow of the African Scientific Institute.
Comments by the Founder: Professor Michael Umale Adikwu