As I watch and record the many digital stories of Africa youth for our UNESCO PPN YouTube storytelling contest a pattern arises of how African youth are succeeding. Also is the tragic diconnect of college graduates that ened up back in small family farms, mines and factory floors.
We have designed a disconnected curriculum to work" for others" in a business climate that needs people who will "create new companies and small businesses." In the US most employment is small businesses not wall street banks and multinationals.
The problem of poverty an unemployment in Africa and in the US should not be happening. I sencerely believe that resistance of educators to recognize the changing of times has failed our children. Industrial style education to educate youth "for jobs" that ofter are not there is a tragic mistake. We desperately need to change our strategy, curriculums and methods to educate students to "Create jobs and companies" to move from micro-economics into small businesses and the small businesses into big ones.
I was at a graduation in wealthy San Jose California. In the heart of Silicon Valley were the highest paying jobs in America are. To my shock only 55% of the class was graduating. We do not need a PH. D. to see such failure of the industrial education system in any country places the youth at risk. In Africa we consistantly see college graduates forced back into the 7 dollar a day textile factories their parents are in.
Yet in the stories on "I am Africa. This is my story..." we consistantly see African youth create their own businesses and futures. What are we missing here? The majority of employeers in Africa and the US are small businesses. We should be educating our youth for that world.
STEM and other industrial models ignore foudations like sales, family/business finance and entrepreneurial values. This is more than tragic and make US and African dependent on multi nations. The disconnect with reality is tragic and school children sense it. I know I will get letters from the STEM folks. Let me state a simple example. The majority of Jobs in the US are Sales. Yet find a high school or college with a sales course. Find a college with a small business finance course or HS with solid family finance courses. The disconnect is huge and our youth are dropping out or worse yet being had by by expensive four year degrees that are disconnected from the economic needs.
In our meetings with the chief of Zambia and Lesotho we are in common accord that we as chiefs, developer, educators and missioners can no longer wait for government, education and certainly multinationasl to supply enough high paying jobs. We must listen to the success stories of our youth and mentor them into building companies and industries on their own the same way America did when we separated from England.
Some believe we have lost the American Dream and are becoming a third world country, there is evidence of that, We build learning centers in urban settings. However for people in position of Rev. Katundu we have the opportunity to start a new "African Dream" Not to wait but to "build." Not to work for but to be apart of something grand and independent.
As I look at images of children learning to sew in a classroom I wonder which which have their solo business, which will build a company and which will have the long walk home from the factory floor. We can change that. We have a responsibility to change it.
We must examine our curriculum and values and fill these children with the will, confidence and skill to build a new Africa. In a missioner school they have the leverage to teach that God's will for them is often different from the will of multinationals, let's leverage that.
So here is my question. Are we developing training or education programs disconnected from small business economic economic growth for the real world?