OP-Unedited | Industrial Romance: the adventure in a Scheme
NEWS DIGEST – The Students Industrial Work and Experience Scheme, otherwise known as Industrial Training was established by the federal government in 1973 and funded by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in order to prepare students of tertiary institutions for employment after graduation. The scheme is aimed at reposing practical knowledge in students and getting them acquainted with the work situation they are likely to meet after graduation.
Before the establishment of the scheme, there was a growing concern among industrialists that graduates of institutions of higher learning lacked adequate practical knowledge preparatory for employment. Thus, employers were of the opinion that the theoretical education going on in higher institutions was not responsive to the needs of the employers of labour. As a result, students found it almost impossible to get a job in the field of their study due to lack of working experience. Hence, the urgent need for a synergy between lecturers and industrialists or prospective employers in the interest of Nigerian students and also for the technological advancement of the country.
Although, the challenge of unemployment has not been abated, it is worthy of note that the Industrial Training has made great impact in the lives of many, with no exception of this writer. I am a student of Communications and Journalism and I have heard many testimonies of how the scheme paved way for successful journalists and broadcasters, as well as Professionals in other fields like information technology, Agriculture, Sciences, Engineering and Management.
Having recently completed the scheme in a period of four months, as a cub Reporter with an online-based Newspaper, I must say, I am fulfilled and optimistic of a bright bright and brighter future ahead. Thanks, to my bosses and seniors in Journalism, I was soaked in a deluge of field assignments; due to my unyielding passion and dedication to the job, my nose for news was sharpened, and with tenths of bylines of News stories and articles, I returned to Campus as a Star.
While few of us saw the scheme as an opportunity to broaden our horizon beyond the four corners of the classroom, and acquire as much practical knowledge as possible in our various fields, majority yawned off these primary objectives and granted themselves a long vacation from school; many lost interest in the middle, saying they were “being used by employers” with little or no remuneration.
Many, especially ladies embarked on a totally different adventure, and coined a new title for the scheme. They call it INDUSTRIAL ROMANCE and here is the subject matter for this article.
I was having a chat with a female friend who had her IT in a Radio Station in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital. I asked her about her experience and she replied with smiles and delight that “It was fantastic”.
“Really, How do you mean?” she laughed at my question; “You can’t understand Tobi. I wished we would never resume back to school”. She ran to greet a friend and left me wondering what the word “FANTASTIC” mean in this context.
Well, while she stood few distance from me, chatting and laughing with this her friend, I decided to drool over her backside; I noticed how beautiful and busty she has become, just in a space of four months. Definitely, there is more to her “fantastic experience” and I must find out.
Before the chat with this girl friend of mine, I had heard the phrase, ‘Industrial Romance’ used jokingly by students and even lecturers, but I never took it serious. I thought it was just a new slang in the Student language register, but now I understand what it really means.
It is the new name for Industrial Training; it is a concept that defines the nature of experience reposed on female students by male employers in some places of attachments.
May I inform you that this particular experience comes with adequate remuneration for ladies who would not decline the offer? Little wonder, ladies in my class have grown so fat and well-fed; they have become intimidating and unapproachable with their colourful appearances and flashy expensive mobile gadgets. One even asked if I could present any of my laudable bylines to get Garri or Rice from Kuto Market. I almost hated my hardworking self.
In my usually ‘walk-around’ assignment on campus, I overheard a conversation between two ladies. Let me call them Sade and Bola for the purpose of this write-up.
Bola who was looking hungry and haggard, was lamenting to her friend about her state of destitute, she claimed not to have food stuffs at home, and does not even have airtime on her ‘Chinko’ phone to call her parents for money.
Shade was surprised by the outburst of her friend in a new academic session. “What have you been doing in the last four months?” she asked.
With keen interest, I moved closer to them, pretending to be reading a paper I picked on the ground.
“What do you mean?” Bola was surprised. She is probably one of us who fulfilled the purpose of the scheme and indeed explored the opportunity for practical knowledge.
Shade laughed scornfully at her friend for being uncivilized. “Mehn! O dull gan o (you are so dull) are there no men at your placement area? Or this is how you dress like old woman over there?”
The young lady could not withstand the mockery since her ‘civilized friend was not willing to help her, she left in disappointment.
I was not surprised as I have suffered worse than that. SIWES has birthed two schemes, the one funded by ITF and the other, adequately funded by adulterous men in organizations and offices. Verily Verily! I say unto thee, the former is more profitable.
May I share with you, a quote by Benjamin Franklin? He says, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” I feel sorry for the female students in question, for I am yet to hear a success story that emanated from industrial romance, instead, great men and women have often credited hard work and pursuit for knowledge as their source of success.
The gadgets you have acquired through this unfaithful and unprofitable adventure would not last for more than a decade, but knowledge is a lifetime treasure, it never fades, nor expires.
And to those who would ague that the knowledge acquired in the classroom is enough for the outside world. My experience during the training showed that what obtains on the field is a different game entirely; the textbooks we cram for exams will not bail us out before interviewers. Also, Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.
I shall also plead with the federal government and Industrial Trust Fund (ITF) to indeed fund the programme and provide stipends for students. Education is not really expensive in this part of the World but the standard of living is very low; the struggle for greatness is stringent, hence, we cannot throw away the baby with the bath water.
Most of these ladies engaged in Industrial romance out of frustration and lack. The useless men, who should help them and encourage them towards greatness, derive pleasure in exploiting these girls, taking advantage of their ignorance.
Let me save my ink for another day. “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on, it is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde
NAME: OLUWATOBI ODEYINKA
SCHOOL: MOSHOOD ABIOLA POLYTECHNIC
DEPARTMENT: MASS COMMUNICATION
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