The challenges of a Nigerian student seeking internship

The term ‘Work from Home’ had gained prominence across the country after the Covid-19 pandemic forced a lockdown on the economy and other activities. Organisations have learnt to adapt to the Digital Age as the pros outweigh the cons on evaluation. However, the education sector has indeed been caught unaware in preparation for the new world, a crisis evident in their reluctance to adopt an avenue for virtual internship for students.

In an attempt to adapt to the economic crisis caused by the lockdown, some organizations especially in the finance sector like banks, insurance, advertising and others industries embarked on retrenchment. Others allowed workers to work from home in an attempt to facilitate efficiency.

The education sector, notably the public-owned, has however failed woefully to evolve for the greater good despite the annual budgets worth billions. Industrial actions, lack of funds, embezzlement of the available financial resources has stalled the development pace of the bedevilled sector. It is no longer news that a medical student averagely spends about 8 years for a 6-year course, same as a law student who averagely spends 7 years for a 5-year course with an extra year in the Law school.

During the lockdown period which lasted for more than six month, academic activities were ongoing in private institutions, which are only accessible to the society’s creme de la creme while the conventional institution students’ progress was forestalled. Convocations and matriculations were organized without hindrances as institutions conducted all activities virtually.

Also, several opportunities were created for students to observe internship opportunities across the nation, which improved the students’ exposure to the outer world and labour market. The media world as case study saw several students become media fellows and mentorship opportunities with established media personalities.

For students observing Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and Teaching Practices (TP) however, there is no foreseeable change as they must be physically available at their placement before their Institution-based Supervisors can grade them. This can be regarded as an embarrassment to the education sector, as several organizations reject students on the premises of their inability to accept them full-time at the office.

Allowing the students from the conventional institutions most especially to observe their internship programs (SIWES, IT and TP) virtually possess enormous positive attributes. The world had indeed progressed to the Digital Age thanks to Covid-19. Technology is developing Artificial Intelligence at a rate which will see persons relying on their physical abilities/ strength get replaced with robots.

These factors are leading to economic crises which will hinder the organization’s duty of catering for students’ physical presence. Granting them virtual internship will help curb these problems as it will grant them the opportunity to produce effectively, acquire knowledge about the usage of the digital space and also enable them to multitask as it gives them the room to perform other activities. All appropriate quarters are urged to conduct a feasibility study on the successful implementation or otherwise of virtual internship in the country for the benefit of the nation’s future leaders.

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Author

  • Phillip Anjorin is a Student Journalist in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko in Ondo state who writes for different media outfits. He's a volunteer, phonetographer and lover of nature.

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