During the pre-colonial days, apprenticeship was the mode of training. It was a common feature of the traditional setting to see people engage in a vocation such as farming, fishing, hunting, carving, carpentry, sculpting, painting, building, decorating, catering, boat-making, mat-making, dyeing and so on. The apprenticeship system was an institution that was jealously guarded by customs, lineage and rituals. Every male born into a family was expected to learn his patrilineal craft, and it was easy to identify a young male child as a member of a lineage found to be proficient in the lineage craft.
During the colonial era, the main interest of the missionary was evangelization of the Africans. To achieve this purpose, it was thought that literary education was not adequate for the purpose since it was least expensive, and equipment for technical and agricultural training was costly in men and money.
Between, what is Apprenticeship?
It is a contractual agreement undertaken by the master-craftsman and the apprentice through which the apprentice is trained for a prescribed work process through practical experience under the supervision of the master-craftsman. It is a form of workplace learning, which enables the apprentice to have on-the-job training.
Hitherto, apprenticeship has given a wild range of opportunities to individuals that dropped out of secondary school due to an increase in fees. Which has birth roadside apprenticeship. Roadside apprenticeship is characterized by a contract agreement between a wayside craftsman (e.g. motor mechanic, auto-electrician, wheel alignment and balancing practitioner) and his apprentice. In the contract, a fixed fee is made payable by the apprentice to the master, and in return, the apprentice is attached to the master’s shop for a stipulated training period. The set-up for a training workshop is made up of the master (skilled), journeyman (semi-skilled), and the apprentice (unskilled).
With all the explanations in the previous paragraphs, Apprenticeship has been the driving force behind every successful man and woman. But unfortunately, this force has slowed down due to erosion of our value system, the lack of focus on the side of the government, a system that doesn’t help many young people discover and harness their potentials, nonchalant attitude and laziness from youths.
What happened to apprenticeship?
Gone are the days when youths clamor for professional careers and good-paying jobs. For those in doubt of how far the trend has gone, Big brother Nigeria auditioning is an eye-opener. The minds of many youths are preoccupied with so many ideas as to how to make lots and lots of money to enable them to live a luxurious life without working for it. Hence most engage in horrendous crimes even if it requires them doing the unimaginable like devilish rituals. In all honesty, the level of moral decadence cannot be overemphasized. The ivory tower that used to be the pride of the rich African value system has now become a show for different kinds of immoral activities. Their quest for quick and easy money, fame and power would never make them take out time to learn a skill properly to completion. They rather invest their time on their phones and laptops looking for who to defraud, put in their money on betting and Ponzi schemes rather than investing in themselves by learning a skill. This laissez-faire attitude draws back the importance and relevance of apprenticeship in Nigeria.
Also, most individuals or educated youths are still fixated with the mindset that only education brings success and some others think apprenticeship is for the low class or the illiterate who have failed to make it in life. Truth be told, there are no white collars jobs out there, the earlier you learn a skill the better for you.
In conclusion, acquiring a skill is of utmost relevance in Nigeria, and as an individual. If you haven’t 2021 is yet, another chance to upgrade yourself.