Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, has implored the Federal Government to review the country’s educational curriculum to incorporate the teaching of maritime-related subjects at the secondary school level.
Afolabi, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the annual Shipping Career Summit held at the Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos said this is necessary in order to cultivate the interest of the students about the industry at an early stage. He was represented at the occasion by Mr. Oliver Omajuwa, General Manager, SIFAX Off Dock Limited.
He said: “There are immense economic opportunities in the maritime sector. In view of the dwindling revenue from the oil sector, government needs to take the maritime sector more seriously. We need to start generating interest about the industry among the next generation by introducing subjects around the industry in secondary schools. Government needs to update secondary school curriculum to take care of this. We should initiate a catch-them-young programme in which students will study maritime in their schools and have the opportunity of visiting various ports for internship and mentoring.”
He further admonished the students to set their priorities right by focusing on their studies in order to achieve academic excellence. He warned that giving room for distractions would compromise their academic excellence.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, CEO, Ships & Ports Communication Company, said the programme, which is in its 9th year, has succeeded in bridging the knowledge gap between the students and the industry, adding that more secondary school students are now showing greater degree of interest in the industry.
The summit, an initiative of the Ships & Ports Communication Company, is a career guidance session aimed at aiding the understanding of students of the maritime sector as well as exposing them to career opportunities in the industry.
Over 100 students attended the event where they engaged in debate, quiz and other interactive activities relevant to the maritime industry. Various industry experts were also on hand to counsel and encourage the students.