Prof. Koko Advocates for Effective Teaching of Entrepreneurship Studies

In Nigerian Universities

The Director of Academic Planning of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Professor Maureen Koko has advocated for an effective teaching of Entrepreneurship Studies in Nigerian Universities.

Prof. Koko took the stand while delivering her lead paper at a one-day Seminar on Entrepreneurship Studies in Nigerian Universities, held on 10th February, 2014 at the Amphitheatre of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology.

 

Speaking as the lead researcher on the outcome of a 10-month research on Assessment of the implementation process on Entrepreneurship Studies in the 124 Nigerian Universities and funded by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Koko quoted Okebukola (2011) who defined Entrepreneurship Studies as “as offering which tools learners with knowledge, skills and attitudes to be an entrepreneur – an innovator, the person who develops a new product, a new market or a new means of product.”

She also quoted Onu’s (2007) definition which is “the use of human courage (with all the underlying values and virtues) to seek investment opportunities and establish a profit-oriented enterprise. It is the acquisition of skills, ideas and other related variables for the sake of crating employment for self and others.

She highlighted some merits of Entrepreneurship Studies, which include, instrument for poverty and crime reduction in the society; a ladder for the improvement of standards and quality of life; and a booster to the relevance of University education.

Prof. Koko noted that the teaching of Entrepreneurship Studies in Nigerian Universities provides avenue for graduates’ self-reliance through job creation and encourage interests in vocational skills rather than managerial ventures.

Speaking on the limitations of the study that was conducted in the six geo political zones of the country, Prof. Koko said that the insecurity in the nation particularly in the North East and North West, affected the study because researchers were unable to visit the universities in that geo political zones. Moreover, she said that the strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, distorted data gathering as some lecturers refused completion of their questionnaire.

Concluding, Prof. Koko stated “Entrepreneurship Studies when effectively delivered has multiplier effect in reducing crime rate and vices in the society.” She recommended the need to embark on similar study during a more stable period in the Universities calendar.

The researchers who assisted Prof. Koko in the study, equally made presentations at the seminar, on their experience and findings in the various geo political zones they covered and they are:

  • Dr. Doris Omeodu – South West;
  • Mr. Christian Ikpesu – South South;
  • Mrs. Caroline Albert – South East;
  • Mr. Barineke Edo – North West.

Earlier in his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Barineme Fakae thanked TETFUND for sponsoring the project and congratulated Prof. Koko and her colleagues for taking the bold step to conduct the study.

Prof. Fakae stated “This TETFUND sponsored project seminar may be the first of its kind in the Nigerian Universities. It is not a surprise that this seminar is being powered by researchers of RSUST because the new RSUST is asserting itself as the first in every good thing. It is heartwarming to see this unique project report coming on the heels of RSUST’s rapid rise to the 12th position among the Nigerian Universities based on recent webometric ranking and being the first state University to appear on this league table by 4 International Colleges and Universities Organization (www.4icu.org).”

He described the seminar as another fulfillment of the quest for a transforming University in the Niger Delta through relevant research for development, expressing optimism that the findings of the research will revitalize entrepreneurial studies in the Nigerian Universities and the society at large.

Also speaking at the seminar, the Dean of the Faculty of Technical and Science Education, Prof. M. J. Ahiakwo commended Prof. Koko and her team for undertaking the research, stating that Entrepreneurship Studies will help the Nigerian graduate to create job rather than looking for employment; adding that the directive by NUC to make the study compulsory is laudable. 

In his remarks, the representative of TETFUND, Mr. Asimolowo Musibau Abiodun lauded Prof. Koko and her team of researchers for their courage to undertake and complete the research, despite the insecurity in some parts of the North.

Reacting to a question asked by a student bordering on Entrepreneurship Studies deviating students from their focus of study, Mr. Abiodun noted that Entrepreneurship Studies will not deviate students from their studies rather teach them how to create job, stating that the government and the private sector cannot provide employment for the increasing number of graduates churn out from the Universities every year.