By Saheed Ibrahim
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has urged students of tertiary institutions not to view education as merely a pathway to job opportunities but as a tool for liberation that will impact society and personal growth.
The governor, who encouraged the students not to lose hope in Nigeria, told them that the nation’s glory rested on their shoulders by focusing on the unsolved problems and working towards a better future.
Speaking at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome) during the commemoration of this year’s International Students Day, Akeredolu, who was represented by his Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Bamidele Ologun, harped on the importance of addressing the unresolved challenges facing Nigeria.
He said: “Let me use the occasion of this celebration to remind you that the time has come for you to begin to see education as a tool for liberation and not a means to secure employment only.
“When education becomes a tool of liberation for you, you become creators of employment. You help society take the right path. You become refined, and you always give back positive vibes to society.
“Be assured that in this quest, we as a government will continue to support your dreams and bring them to reality. Be reminded that the glory of this nation rests upon your crests.
“Many discouraging events have caused many of you to lose hope in our nation. But know now that the best way to celebrate the anniversary of a great revolution is to concentrate attention on its unsolved problems.
On his part, the Minister of State for Youth, Ayodele Olawande, who was also at the event, revealed that efforts had begun towards strengthening the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
According to the Minister, the government is concerned with further creating opportunities for youths in the country to ensure they excel in their various fields.
“When you see what the Ministry of Communication and the Ministry of Blue Economy are doing now, we will have youths in agriculture, technology, entertainment, and sports.
We are bringing all these together because we need a working youth.”
Delivering a lecture titled ‘Embracing Failure: The Power of the First Attempt in Learning and Growing,’ the Vice-Chancellor of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Prof. Temi Ologunorisa, who was represented by the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr. Daniel Adekeye, urged the youths not to despair in the quest to strive for the best. “Nigerian youth, primarily students, must rise to the challenge of evolving a new Nigeria—a nation that depicts the lofty dreams of our past heroes.
“It is high time that Nigerian youth embrace their failures and our collective national failures by accepting responsibility and becoming alive to new ways of thinking, acting, and responding to national and global realities.
“It is imperative to avoid the temptation of losing hope when your attempts fail. Avoid despondency, vicious addictions, criminality, despair, and apathy.”