By Dayo Johnson, Akure
A Non-Governmental Organization, the Multi-Skill Teenpreneurship Programme (MSTP Africa), has provided educational tools and equipment worth N35 million, to nine schools in Ondo state.
The schools are scattered across the three senatorial district of the state.
Speaking at the launching of the programmeme, held at the St. Louis Girls Grammar School, Akure, the Chief Executive Officer, MSTP, Wale Akinyanmi, said the programmeme, which was the first of its type in Africa, was introduced to the state in May 2023, commencing a 3-year pilot phase in the state.
Akinyanmi, said that MSTP, a project of the ACCENT-Spring Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, was designed to provide youth with self-employment skills, entrepreneurial knowledge, and opportunities at the intersection of education and livelihood.
According to him “the goal is to contribute to the economic transformation of Nigeria and Africa by creating a productive workforce that can fulfil the aspirations of the growing youth populace, their families, and their communities as well.
“To monitor and manage the vocational instructors employed for each of the schools, a project management office has been established for the program.
” All the instructors have been trained by a corps of master trainers from LAHI, India.
“One unique aspect of the programme is that schools’ Parents-Teachers Associations, Old Students Associations, communities, and industry leaders are given the opportunity for partnership and ownership. We envisage that this will bring sustainability to the project.
“We strongly believe that promoting skill-based education in Africa, especially Nigeria, is long overdue, given the global shift towards investing in skills rather than certificates, and our dear nation cannot afford to be left behind.
“Therefore, the opportunity to collaborate with LAHI, Lend A Hand India, and leverage their 16 years of experience in skills-based education for Africa was irresistible.”
Introducing the MSTP, Lawrence Afere, the co-founder of the programme, said, “The MSTP and the LAHI teams are on a rescue mission, and we are on a mission to create a new path for our world by empowering children, teens, and youth with multi-skills that will transform them into solution providers.”
While the Co-Founder, Lend-A-Hand India (LAHI), Ms. Sunanda Mane, said, “Hands-on learning and skills acquisition are critical for the growth, economic sustainability, and competitiveness of countries, and ultimately for employability.”
Mane said “we would like to move from the nine pilot schools to eventually covering all major schools in the state and, of course, some other states in Nigeria before venturing to other parts of Africa. MSTP is basically a project for Africa, taking root in Ondo State, Nigeria.”
Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who launched the programmeme, appreciated the Lend-A-Hand, India (LAHI) and its partner ACCENT Spring Entrepreneurship for making Ondo State first among equals in launching the programmeme in the state.
Aiyedatiwa, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Segun Omojuwa, said, “The swinging pendulum of teaching and learning in developed and developing nations has shifted systematically from the ordinary quest for paper certificates to science, technology, and entrepreneurship (STE)
He pointed out that this “will open doors for the needed innovation and creativity to solve socioeconomic challenges in our society.
The governor said that “It was on this basis that our administration in Ondo State is fighting tooth and nail to ensure the continued provision of functional education and human capacity development for its citizenry.”