Tuesday, July 26, 2011



Over the past 1-year, we have had reports of giant strides taken by SRD alumni, from the intellectual confines of Edinburgh Business School to America's Wall Street, to Nigeria's commercial centers and even in the Niger-Delta region.

Whilst we celebrate the success of all our beneficiaries, we know there maybe instances of unmet dreams and lingering unemployment. Hence, AGDC is convening the first ever "EVALUATION FORUM" for alumni of the program.

This session is specifically for those seeking their first or formal employment since their graduation from the SRD program.

If you are employed, kindly spread the word and inform those who are still doing the best they can to transition into the job market to come equipped with their current CV for an interactive session and resources.

Event Details:

Date: August 11th , 2011

Venue: AGDC Learning Centre, 5 Maitama Sule Street, Ikoyi SW, Lagos

Time: 10a.m Prompt

It is compulsory to confirm attendance latest by Wednesday, August 10, 2011 date to enable us plan for your arrival. Kindly confirm your attendance by sending an e-mail to bolanleokunuga@graddev.com, jenniferjoel@graddev.com or an sms to +2348083986255, +2348036443699

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Communique on The State of Education In Edo State


After School Graduate Development Centre (AGDC)
The Challenge of Equity in the Post-Primary Education System in Edo State
Held At The Sage Hotel, GRA Benin, June 16, 2011

The educational system in Nigeria is on a geometric failure deficit; with increasing rates of youth unemployment; the existence of an equitable educational system in every state is non-negotiable. An “equitable” system provides high quality education to all pupils regardless of background or where they live. This report details findings from the evaluation of rural post secondary education in 10 Local Government and 14 communities in Edo-State, and establishes the existence of inequity in provisions for schools in urban and rural communities in Edo-State. Universally accepted measurements comprising of Pupil –Teacher Ratio (PTR), budgetary allocation and funding, as well infrastructure were used in this study.
Edo State is situated in Southern Nigeria within the Niger Delta Region; it is divided into 18 Local Government Areas. The state’s 2011 budget is 105,944 Billion Naira. Funded by TY Danjuma Foundation, the W.I.N.G.S Community Projects are 14 community projects implemented by undergraduates of the University of Benin whom were beneficiaries of the W.I.N.G.S 3 Week employability and enterprise training implemented by AGDC, i.e. the After School Graduate Development Centre, located in Lagos, Nigeria. This report is based on the findings of AGDC’s Monitoring and Evaluation team for the W.I.N.G.S Community Projects.

Pupil –Teacher Ratio (PTR): For all rural community secondary schools, the largest teacher population for a single school was 6. These 6 teachers are expected to teach the 15 subjects curriculum for senior secondary schools in the state. Majority of schools visited had 3 or 2 teachers and these numbers includes the School Principal and Vice-Principal. The lowest ratio of teacher to pupil ratio was found in Ovia South East LGA with a median range of 168 Students per Teacher. Placing this against the universal benchmark of 40 pupils per teacher for developing countries (World Conference on Education, 1990), rural secondary schools in Edo-State are grossly understaffed. There seems to be a different administration for schools located in the city –centre as the average PTR is between 40-80 pupils per teacher. School administrators in the rural communities attribute the discrepancies between PTR of Rural and Urban secondary schools to 2 factors:

• Non deployment of teachers to the hinterlands by the Post-Primary Education Board
• Refusal of deployed teachers to report at their schools of posting
Thus, rural secondary schools not only suffer from discrimination from the administrative government body, but also from teachers who refuse to report to rural community secondary schools. Furthermore, it was discovered that teachers lecturing students in core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Biology and Economics are often reposted to schools located in the city centre.
Rural community secondary schools in Edo State are populated by staff members made up of National Youth Corps members. These Youth Corpers make up the core teaching staff in all schools; a Youth Corp member interviewed in Igueben LGA asserts “We are the teaching staff”. The schools’ Parents Teacher Association (PTA) for each school pays the remuneration for these Corpers.

Funding: Against the backdrop of 105,944 Billion Naira, 2011 Edo State budget; the average monthly subvention for senior secondary schools is 5.000 Naira. With an average population of 250 pupils for rural secondary, the Edo State government provides 20 Naira to fund a secondary school student per month. 20 Naira is the equivalent of ¼ of the cost of a bottle of soft drink, 4000% of the cost of a rubber school sandal and 200% of the cost of a Higher School Note-Book. It was reported that charging students extra fees is strictly prohibited in the state, but the question is; how does the Edo State government expects rural community schools to thrive with a monthly subvention of 5000 Naira? Which according to all schools visited was last paid in April 2011
Evaluation and Promotion of Students: The challenge of funding impedes proper evaluation of students for promotional examinations. According to one of the School Principals interviewed, the school have to consider 3 major factors;

• The ministry of education calculate the subvention provided for each school monthly by the number of paying students and not the actual students’ population; hence the school cannot afford to fail a paying student as it reduces the monthly subvention of the school. Hence, to ensure that the school stay afloat, the school administration is constrained to promote students en-masse.
• The presence of several private secondary school institutions in the community implies that the students if asked to repeat a class will most surely withdraw their studentship and enrol in a private secondary school, again leading to a reduction in the monthly subvention from the State’s Ministry of Education.

• Students pay tuition per term and due to dearth of funds, the school take in students at any term they can afford to pay for. It means that a young woman who have registered at the beginning of the school year but could only pay and attend classes in the 3rd term will automatically be promoted to the next class. The absence of proper evaluation and the high rate of examination malpractice at the WAEC and JAMB examination centres ensures that this young woman enters the university and at least in the next 4 years convocates as an unemployable graduate.

Infrastructure: All schools visited had dilapidated structures capable of collapsing under the most minimal of pressures. There were several cases of collapsed roofs, walls, absent windows and the most prominent; absence of desks and chairs. A unique phenomenon was the indication of desks and chairs as the most needed items reported by ALL schools visited. The students opined that “at least we can sit down and write, even under trees’. A school visited in Ovia North East LGA, JSS 2 students had to vacate their classes to the fields to enable JSS 3 students write the national Junior Secondary School Examinations. While the State Government is presently undertaking a renovation projects for secondary school in the state, we observed that two types of schools are being renovated; Schools located in local government areas in the city centre or along major roads in outlying communities. What are the criteria for selection of schools for renovation? This report make bold to assert that schools in the rural hinterlands are in worse states than schools in the city centre, and we could not find single one being renovated in all local governments visited.
Gender Proportion of Teaching Staff: An unconfirmed figure of about 4500 senior secondary school teacher population exists in Edo State, majority of who are reported to be women teachers. Given the need to urgently address the importance of educating the girl child in Edo State, efforts are needed to ensure that women teachers are not overly concentrated in the city centre to the detriment of rural girls whose access to education depends on them.

1. AGDC calls on the Edo State government to increase monthly subventions for schools in the state, in particular rural secondary schools. While we commend the state governor in implementing the new minimum wage figures, it is important to fund the institutions that train the labour force of the future, ie Secondary schools
2. The Protocol of Recruitment of Commonwealth Teachers adopted by Ministers of Education from common wealth countries explicitly advocate and recognizes the benefits of a well managed teacher exchange system. AGDC calls for an immediate end to arbitrary rural to urban reposting of teachers and also request that more teachers be posted to rural areas with additional incentives
3. AGDC further calls for recruitment of more teachers in Edo State and provide further trainings for current teachers in the rural areas, majority of who reported being sidelined in training programs in favour of teachers in the city centre.
4. AGDC calls on international and national funders to fund further research and intervention projects to investigate and address the inequalities in rural and urban education in Edo State and Nigeria as a whole
5. AGDC calls on NGOs, CBOs, private institutions and government agencies to become proactive in addressing the challenge in provisions for rural and urban education in Edo State and Nigeria.

Jennifer Joel-Obado
Otubure Emmanuel Godbless
Audu Oguns Clement
Nweke McDuke. C
Osaghae Aigbe David
Frank Okhions
Roland Omozuwa

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AGDC warns on the state of Education in Edo State

The After School Graduate Development Center (AGDC), sponsored by the TY Danjuma Foundation, yesterday, raised the alarm over what it described as the deplorable state of the education sector in Edo State, saying that from the survey carried out by the organization, the educational sector in the state would have collapsed if not for the assistance of NYSC members.

The group described as imbalance in the posting of teachers and construction of school buildings in urban and rural areas in the state despite the enormous infrastructural investment in the education sector in the state, asserting that if things continue in this manner, the state may not be able to produce employable graduates in the nearest future.

In a communiqué by the Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Director of AGDC, Jennifer Obado and the Project Coordinator, TYDF/AGDC, Brian Orji, the Foundation said students teacher ratio in the rural area was an average of 160 students to one teacher while in the urban areas, it was a case of one teacher to 40 to 50 students, an indication that there were more teachers in the urban than rural areas.

Relevant Links
West Africa
The group also observed that most of the staff in secondary schools in the rural areas are members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) whose services were paid for by the schools' Parents Teachers Association (PTA).They observed that secondary schools were being grossly underfunded in the state with a monthly grant of between N4, 000 to N7, 000 depending on the location of the school just as they lamented the dilapidated state of buildings in most secondary schools visited in 10 of the 18 local government councils selected for the research.

Meanwhile, 2,000 students from 14 institutions, including secondary and tertiary institutions in the state, have benefited from the Wing Community Development Project, sponsored by the T.Y. Danjuma Foundation.

Making National Impact

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

AGDC on CNN iReport

In furtherance of our mandate to equip Nigeria's youth for the global market, Nigeria's foremost career centre has launced its unique profile on CNN ireport.

Express Yourself; Post your Comment on AGDC... Checkout the latest post on AGDC profile on CNN;


Landing Your Dream Job...1

I have heard so much from graduates about how difficult, competitive and congested the labour market is. The tales of woes and misery never stops. Interestingly, I disagree! I know you might say I have a job, am not a fresh graduate et al, but we have graduates who have landed their dream jobs without the ‘you must know someone’ syndrome! Everyday people get hired and some get fired.

The job market maybe difficult but it’s not impossible. There is more to a job search than mere sending out resumes, writing cover letters and attending interviews. It's not that simple as there are more applicants than available jobs at any point in time. That is a given. Besides, these jobs are going to be filled by the best. You not only have to be competitive, you have to be super-competitive and be ready to make a strong positive impression on every HR manager.
At present, there are so many facets to a job search. Averagely, when we think of beginning a job search, most of us have the idea of browsing various job search engines, find positions that match our desire, and email our latest resume; Q.E.D! However, have you thought of the number of applicants that one advert can attract? How then are you going to differentiate yourself from the volumes of other applicants who are also attempting to obtain the same position? The answer is simple; You need to be strategic! Deviate from the norm.
It's time to adjust our thinking when applying for a job, from being "an applicant," to actively marketing your skills and experience! When you approach job search from a marketing perspective, with a strategic plan, you find that you'll land that job in no time. Dare to be different. It’s high time you treated your job search as a full time job! The difference is that your Job Description will be; spotting hidden vacancies, preparing for aptitude tests, interviews, amongst others. Your salary at the end of the ‘Job Search’ is you getting the job! Resumption time will be 8am and you close at 5pm as if you have the job already.
Difficult times, they say, require drastic measures. I’ve developed a low-risk, high-gain plan to land your dream job. However, I won’t go into details this week. We will continue next week. I’ll like to reiterate that registration for the AGDC High Potential (HiPO) Graduate Program is still on. The HiPO program is geared towards building global talent locally, and raising a new generation of leaders for Nigeria’s economy and industries. It is an opportunity for graduates to launch their careers on a fast track, and be empowered to excel and add value to the companies they work in. The program has been structured to meet the employers' needs, develop insights and strategies to find gainful employment in this competitive job market. For enquiries and feedback, kindly call Bolanle on 0702977474 or send an email bolanleokunuga@graddev.com.
Don’t allow your career to take a "back-seat" during this tough economy; it's time to become a proactive job seeker! The true secret to landing your dream job, is moving your perspective from a passive job applicant, to an effective career skills marketer. Till next week, don't waste time chasing postings on job boards. Be strategic, be different.

Monday, April 11, 2011

AGDC Launches its Alumni Network!

The After School Graduate Development Centre, (AGDC) has launched an Alumni Network for all participants of its programs. Membership to this network is limited to individuals who are Samsung Real Dreams Alumni or/and individuals who have attended any of our training programs.

Membership Benefits include:

• Quarterly Online Career Newsletter
• Inclusion in AGDC recruitment Database
• Mentorship Opportunities
• Free Invitation to AGDC's roundtable discussions
• Free Invitation to AGDC Quarterly CEO Forum
• Discount for use of AGDC training facilities
• Volunteering opportunities
• Networking Opportunities
And so much more........

To register: Send a mail with your Name, Phone number, Occupation & Company to jenniferjoel@graddev.com

Monday, March 14, 2011

UNIBEN Students Thanks TY Danjuma Foundation

28th February – 4th March 2011

The W.I.N.G.S training continued into its second week and lectures kick started on Monday 28th February with facilitators; Tunde Ojikutu and Tunji Alao taking participants through; An Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Basic ICT Skills respectively. The day after, Tuesday, the duo of Tunde Ojikutu and Tunji Alao continued with topics; The Interview Process as well as Entrepreneurship and Social Networking.

At the end of day two, trainees were so appreciative of Mr Ojikutu’s class, they insisted of taking group pictures with him after the sessions. And having learnt how to manage their online image from Mr Tunji Alao, participants were in a hurry to change unprofessional e-mail addresses and implicating pictures and comments from their online profiles. It was as clear as day; attitudinal changes had occurred.

Wednesday 2nd March, the various groups into which trainees had been divided sharpened their presentation skills among others when they came up to present sector specific business proposals to the rest of their classmates. Sessions were moderated by Brian Oji who helped the ‘businessmen’ with creative and instructive ways to package their businesses in an open market for real profit.

Participants deserve commendations on how much effort they put into the entire program, groups prepared tirelessly and on presentation day most of them showed up with interesting ‘company’ branding antics. From branded bust tags to uniform outfits, the presentations were very colourful, educating and incisive. They gave me an opportunity to appraise the business intelligence of trained Nigerian graduates and like it has been proven, time and again, a little guidance can make our youths come up with wonderful solutions to our business and life problems.

Details about the groups are as follows;

S/N Group Name Leader Sector
1 Dunamis Incorporated Anjorin Babajide Social Networking
2 Strat-Net Corporation Okoh Jimoh Fashion
3 Rev X Strategies Rowland Aigbogun Banking
4 Dynamic Corporation Avwioroko David Entertainment
5 Excel Group Oghobaghase Ceasar Branding
6 Eagles Inc. Ikharea Vera Efe Social Networking
7 I-Ternal Corporation Eromosele Austin Banking
8 The Strategists Omozuwa Roland Youth Advocacy
9 Beacons Intl. Kingsley Ifoga Fashion
10 Brains Int. Incorporated Oubure Godbless Oil and Gas
11 Midas Touch Jibunoh Chinenye Education
12 Acme Alliance Onore Martins Entertainment
13 Pacesetters Inc. Dafe Steve Youth Advocacy
14 De Classique Azeke Daniel Food Services
15 Lead Giants Inc. Agbamoro Michael Oil and Gas
14 G.A.T.E Inc. Yukwe Emmanuel Youth Advocacy

Group presentations were held for all groups on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd March 2011.
Then on Friday, despite their delayed flights (see bullet points below), facilitators; Mr Sam Gemegah and Mr Emmanuel Bright handled sessions on Small Business Accounting and Creative Thinking&problem Solving respectively.

Important Information
• Eagles Incorporated proposed an online social network that connects university students from all across the country called ; TertConnectt. They have now gone ahead to create the website online and it is live right now; the URL is http://tertconnecttt.socialgo.com/. I think that is very commendable.

• Facilitator, Tunji Alao had his 9:15 class on Basic ICT shifted to 12:15 because he missed the Arik 7:30 am flight to Benin and had to wait for the 11:30 am flight. He however explained that the delay was caused because the public address system in the wing of the Lagos local airport, where he had been sitting for over an hour before takeoff was bad. As such he did not hear the boarding announcement. Arik apologised for this and put him on the 11:30am flight without the ‘no-show’ surcharge.

• On Friday 4th March, Arik moved their regular 7:30am flight to 9:30am for logistic reasons. And two of our facilitators; Mr Sam Gemegah and Mr Emmanuel Bright were delayed therefore; they however arrived the training venue at about 11:30am to take their sessions. The early spare time was effectively utilised by participants as they watched informative videos and discussed their experiences during the training program.

• On Friday 4th March, training sessions rounded off at 3:00pm instead of the regular 1:45pm because of the facilitators’ time of arrival.

Pay-it-Forward project
Participants have been mobilised into functional groups and would start submitting their Pay-it-Forward project plans from Monday, 7th March 2011.

On the issue of Internship, over 60% of the participants would be travelling to Lagos after the training. Do we then seek internship placement for these ones in Lagos?

The second week of the Wing’s training was momentous and inspiring and all the members of my volunteer team were very agile to the vision throughout. I thank Seyi Babatunde, Adejumo Ibukun, Nkiru Nwaorgu, Egbon Edosa and Susan Chukwuedo.

In addition, I have here some feedback mails from the participants themselves; please read;

“Schools come and schools go but there would never be one like Wings!”

– Nweke McDuke (I-Ternal Corporation)

“ With heart full of gratitude I say thanks for the provision you made available to us this week. The task brought out my real potential, reminding me of my strengths and the need to maximize it. The training so far, has made me identify where and how to begin my career, giving me a good reason why I should propel forward without fear. It has really impressed upon me the need for a continuous personal appraisal evaluation of myself with a view to implementing all I am learning so as to attain the maximum benefit. For this very reason, I say THANKS A LOT.”

- Vera Efe, IKHAREA (C.E.O, Eagles incorporated)

“Before, i use to ask myself where i belong in d society but now i know or at least have an idea where i belong. Thanks to AGDC.”
– Anavenwu Mercy (The Strategists)
“I have now been upgraded to a higher level in all spheres of my life.
All thanks to AGDC. I'm being daily convinced that everything is working for my good.”
– Faith Innocent (Excel Group)

“My experience these past few days has been one filled with a series of
‘wows’ and superlatives that are a mile long. The quality of the
speakers are simply out of this world- most of them being HR heads
and top management staffs if not CEO’s. You should know that there are very few times my time has been better spent, than at this WINGS training. I remain grateful.

- Omadudu M.Charles (The Strategists)

Monday, March 7, 2011

What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?

In the last two weeks we have addressed the role of your resume in getting that dream job. The importance of having a good resume cannot be over-emphasized because that is your first contact with the employer. The truth is, a lot of resumes are turned down in 10 seconds flat! You need to have your resume stand out, and be noticed by the employer. Your resume must catch the attention of the employer right away. The question is; what is your unique selling point?

A major tool to market your unique selling point is your cover letter.
Cover letters are still important today, and should be sent along with your resume In your cover letter, begin with a powerful first paragraph about yourself. Have this action paragraph relate to the job at hand. Sum up your job relevant experience, your strengths that are relevant to the job, skills and accomplishments. Sell yourself quickly in the first paragraph of your cover letter. Your cover letter should be only one page in length. At the end of your cover letter, add your telephone number and your email address. This way, your telephone number and your email address will be right at hand for the employer - in the first lines of your resume, and in the last lines of your cover letter.

Having scaled through the first selection stage and you are invited for an interview, this is another opportunity to pitch yourself as the applicant of choice to the employer. Always remember; first impressions are very important. An interviewer usually forms an impression of you in less than five minutes. Make that impression a favorable one, and a memorable one. Address your strengths, the ones that show you are an excellent fit for the job and the company.
When the interviewer asks you to talk about yourself, favorably sum up your strengths and qualifications in 60 seconds or less. Talk about your five best features, the ones that show you are a good fit for the job and the company. Select selling points that state that you would be able to fulfill the company's needs. State your qualifications with confidence. Also, maintain good eye contact with the interviewer. Project yourself as Confident, Capable and Competent

To equip you with skills on how to market your unique selling point, AGDC is organizing a one-month intensive program, commencing on Mach 28 2011, to launch you from a regular graduate to a High Potential Graduate. AGDC High Potential Graduate Program (HIPO) is a management skills development program for recent graduates and young professionals. For enquiries about this program; contact Bolanle on 07029777474.

Remember! There is no second chance to make a good first impression. Always, always, sell your brand; you are a product, pitch yourself as the best and brightest! Till next week, keep on selling Brand YOU!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


AGDC empowers Nigerian youths by providing them with the knowledge and opportunities needed to successful, thrive in the job market and realize their dreams. Our Programs equip young graduates and professionals with ICT skills; life skills as well as entrepreneurship and vocational skills.

in developing our strategies we have come to answer the question, why the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, we have the statistics, it is neither a national malaise or a unique Nigerian feature, but we need to answer the question: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE NIGERIAN YOUTH?

Is it a problem in our psyche? or our environment? What can be done?
Is it that there are jobs and no capable hands?
where are the jobs????

We need answers to enable us develop fresh strategies at addressing the challenge of equipping a work ready Nigerian graduate...

kindly post in your views

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

At Anthony Village Lagos, with SRD Alumni

29th January 2011
Opening Comments
The focus group discussion hosted by AGDC Employability & Enterprise Devt Ltd/GTE had in attendance 6 (Six) participants of the Samsung Real Dreams from streams 3&4, 5 and 6. In attendance was: Toyin Ademodi; an unemployed mother of two; Olugbosun Ariyo, a software developer; Ademoye Ayoola Damilola, a Lecturer; Olusunmade Kazeem, a school administrator; Saka Adedayo Saheed, a content developer for educational software and Ajanaku Collins, a fresh graduate and an entrepreneur. This corps of discussants selected across different streams spoke candidly on the SRD Programme, its impacts and fall-outs. They also suggested other intervention points in combating youth employability in Nigeria.
On the profiling Test
Saka: ‘The career profiling test was fantastic’; Toyin corroborated by asserting: ‘it brought out things about me I never knew anybody else could see”.
According to Damilola; a lot of people were nervous about taking the career test. People felt it was a trick assignment to sieve out people that would be placed on internship. For Stream 3&4 there was so much competition. The psychometric test was not a true test of our abilities
Samsung Real Dreams: Impacts and Complaints
For Damilola ‘What I would say about the SRD Class is that I have made lifelong friends; I have a friend living with me presently, we met at the SRD training and he has been living in my house for more than a year!
For Toyin Ajimobi: The issue with SRD is that what I learnt most was about team building. People revealed an inner strength of character in such a manner that I was amazed. People really have unseen potentials”
Through the training I received at AGDC, I have developed a great deal of confidence.
Suggestions for AGDC
Collins advices; AGDC should please work on placing all trainees on internships. Also, an endowment fund can be established to fund a microcredit scheme; the focus should not be on graduates only but also on NCE and OND graduates and entrepreneurs
Damilola; “the niche for AGDC is on developing people’s mindset”.
Hakeem: ‘AGDC cannot teach people everything but each training is a seed. The SRD training was really an eye-opener’.
AGDC needs to ignite the initial push in entrepreneurs, (at this time Saka interrupts; what do you mean by initial push? Business writing skills?
Hakeem; I mean, inspiring us to break the fear of starting; to take initiative.

Graduation Ceremony
Hakeem”; a graduation ceremony is necessary, I once went for an interview and they requested for a proof of my attendance of the training, which I couldn’t provide. We need our certificates.”
Lessons Learnt
“I learnt a lot about project planning and implementation and how to excel at any task given to me. Before SRD, I didn’t have confidence in myself, but learning about personal branding at the SRD training programme, changed my perception of myself”.
Hakeem:” The first thing I learnt at the SRD was self confidence, especially when I was asked to pray. Also, I learnt fresh presentation skills. When I got back to my teaching job, even the student testified of a change in my teaching style. Also, from Mrs Ibukun Awosika, I learnt a lot about integrity and values”.
Final Word for AGDC:
Hakeem: “There is a sort of pride in Nigerian youth; every Nigerian graduate has a mindset issue. It is not all about the grades. AGDC operates in an environment that has little or no value for its younger generation. Thus, AGDC must thus define the age category for its catchment population; there should be a certain age strata and focus should be on developing their potentials.’ AGDC Also needs government support and the best way to do it is to design a project to coincide with government objectives.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Look At Me Now!

Beyond employabilty and enterprise training, AGDC inspires participants in its programmes to ' Pay-It-Forward'. We have so many people who have attended our trainings are  change agents in their respective communities and organisations......

Within the  thick rainforest, meandering creeks  associated with so much violence and poverty in the Nigerian Niger Delta region, Bankole Taiwo is inspiring youths to a greater tomorrow.................

The Visionaries Academy (TVA) has a proven track record of gross achievement in Youth Development Programs in the Niger- Delta region in less than 8 months of her existence. TVA is responsible for the Management and Organization of Green clubs in different Secondary schools across the region, TVA has organized green initiatives which saw to the inauguration of Green Ambassadors also known as Climate Champions in collaboration with the Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC) Abuja, Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change, BNRCC, also, Youth Internship programs tagged Before Graduation which has seen to the placement of young undergraduates in different internship positions and also, the epoch making 1st Summer Technology camp in Delta State tagged ICT4Youths which saw to the inauguration of ICT Ambassadors for various schools in different regions.  Our core values include Accountability, Integrity and Delivery and we also have a board of advisors consisting of reputable and integrity-profiled personalities including Chief (Mrs) Ochuko Orogun of Delta Broadcasting Service who has been profiled as one of Delta State’s greatest activist on Integrity and Accountability, Mrs. Ufuoma Ajuwa, a Senior Information Civil Service Worker attached to the Warri-South LGA. So far, we have had partnerships and collaboration with Institutions and organizations such as Microsoft Nigeria, Paradigm Initiative, Delta Broadcasting Service, Warri-South Local Government Council, Uvwie Local Government Council, Ministry of Education.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SRD Participants' Speak: Pictures

 Halimat, making her point.

Raymond: "we need a shift in values"

                             Kemi; Stressing the importance of re-orientation of  Nigerian youths.

AGDC Samsung Real Dreams Project: Participants Speak

Samsung Real Dreams Evaluation
Focus Group Discussion- Ikeja
22 January 2011

This is an elementary report on the evaluation project for Samsung Real Dreams Program (SRD);  hosted by AGDC Employability and Enterprise Ltd/GTE.   Please note that the social report, which will be an aggregate of all FGDs, telephone interviews, site-visits and  the  stakeholders’ forum resolution, would be the final report for this evaluation project.

Opening Comments: Facilitating the focus group discussion, Jennifer Joel, welcomed the discussants, outlining the purpose of the chat and the aim of AGDC to assess the impact of the SRD training. Lessons learnt and the effects of the skills learnt on improving employability and promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit.
SRD: The training Vs The Real World: Oluokun Halimat Sadiyat; ‘the training at SRD was great, I would recommend for every graduate. For me, the problem with the Nigerian graduate is illiteracy; the average Nigerian youth does not have a deep drive for self-improvement.  Life does not give you anything; you get what you bargain for. The SRD programme made me realize, it is the value, passion and enthusiasm you have that matters’. It has been a tremendous help. At the training, I got a renewed sense of self awareness, which helped me in getting my
Halimat, highlighted the importance of personal drive, which she believes the Samsung real Dreams seek to inspire in every of its participant. Furthermore, Adebena kemi, corroborated this fact but reiterated the need for continual retraining of young graduates, in her words; ‘ maybe you can force a horse to the stream, but not force it to drink, but AGDC would just have to find creative ways to force this knowledge into  every participant, really ( AGDC has to ) just help us’.
Efegoroma Raymond, viewed the problem of employability as two-pronged, he believes there are a high number of employable youths but the jobs are not really there. He also complained of the high incidence of favoritism and in job placements; where the individual with the most powerful referee gets the job. At SRD, he learnt the value of purpose and integrity. Picking from the session delivered by Pastor Poju Oyemade, Raymond stated, ‘I learnt something very important, you can be the one  to do the right thing, if you do not, somebody in the same circumstances with you,  could have given the same excuse but decided to meet the deadline”
Combating Youth unemployment, all discussants agreed on a singular point; the need for a new value system for Nigerian youth. The following interventions were proposed.
Employability training for First year university students- Halimat; “ this would help inculcate at the start of their studies a mindset for knowledge and entrepreneurship, which would translate to a desire for  knowledge  beyond the needs to get good grades and graduate with a  2:1”
Kemi; I believe we should start from the junior secondary school, by the time a student passes through secondary education, his study options are already streamlined, depending on the department he finished from in secondary school. Most schools have Art, Commercial and Science departments, although some private secondary schools include Technical and Social Science departments. We need to let them know that it is not just about the grades, we need to inform them in making healthy career choices. If I had taken the psychometric test I took at the SRD programme in my Junior secondary school, I would have studied a different course in the university,
Raymond proposes an active participation in the National Youths Corps Orientation Programme by AGDC,’ fine, we know they have passed through the faulty system. However, what better place to start re-orientation young graduates than the NYSC orientation Camp?
Concluding comments: A general trend in this discussion was the emphasis on values learnt. The discussants graded as important the values taught in the SRD training more than skills. One skill mentioned by all participants was interview and presentation skills, which is tied to a deep sense of self-awareness and self-esteem. A major ingredient for success identified in any workplace or vocation was drive, coupled with the willingness to learn, contribute and use of innovation.
A personal observation is a deep understanding by all participants on the divergence between having a job and a career, this understanding   have formed the basis for the jobs or vocations of all the participants. Beyond rhetoric, the Samsung Real Dreams Project of AGDC has transformed the mindset of these participants.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Call to Action!

" Between 2009 and 2011, about 13 million youths will be requiring productive employment. Administrative data shows that Nigeria generates 4.5 million new entrants into the labour market annually" ( Federal Ministry of Youth Employment)

"71 Percent of Nigerian graduates are like bad cheeries, won't be picked by any employer of labour because they are not fit for anything even if they were the only one that put themselves forward for an employment test". ( Charles Soludo, Central Bank of Nigeria governor, 2009)

With the scenario painted above, we at AGDC decided to chart a fresh course of action in addressing the issue of youth employability in Nigeria. For 3 years we have been igniting enterprise, promoting productivity and inspiring employability. 

To stay informed on our projects and other interventions, follow this site, especially if you are Young and Nigerian!