Many did not foresee the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the entire global community and completely upend the routine of both the young and the old.
Particularly affected are the students at the various levels of education.
Those in the Nigerian universities were more affected as the months old strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) ‘teamed’ up to keep them out of school.
While some languished at home in boredom, others venture out to learn new skills or take on jobs to make the forced vacation meaningful.
In the heat of the pandemic, most vocational centers and trade workshops became a beehive for students, most of who are out of school for months, decided to learn a trade.
Lucky Oragbon, 17, an undergraduate of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), one of such students, took to apprenticeship in a phone repairs outlet in Okoafo, a Badagry suburb in Lagos State.
He told The Educational Tide that his resolve to go for his chosen vocation was driven by passion.
“I have a passion for phone repairs and manipulation, so when schools were shut down, I have to swiftly embrace phone repairs and services, ahead of other available choices that beckon. I know that it is a very lucrative vocation right now, so I wasted no time and opted for it.
Lucky, who stated that it was really boring, being locked down at home, said he took up the training to get busy.
“I just have to seek a passion that will keep me busy in a pleasurable way. That is why I choose what I am doing now. I know it will be of help to me in the future,” he said.
Asked if his parents are in support of what he is doing, he affirmed that they actually encouraged him to go for it.
“They supported me because they know that it is a lucrative craft that will be of good to me in the future,” he said.
The 100–Level Anatomy student wish to continue with his vocation alongside his studies.
“I will use the skills acquired from here to complement my career in the future,” he asserted.
Lucky was not alone at Beulah Communication, a phone repairs, sales and servicing outfit, where he is learning the trade. The center is a hub for youths and students who are out of school, for sundry reasons, including the pandemic.
Francis Jovi, 15, of Jeth Crown College, Agumo, Badagry is also one of the many youths that throngs the center on a daily basis. The JSS Three student said he was enrolled at the center by his parents.
“My ambition is to be a Computer Engineer. Since the beginning of the lockdown, I have been in this center with some other youths from far and near . I spend the whole day here. Even when my school resumed last week, I have to go to school in the morning and return to the center in the day,” Jovi said.
Necessity, they say is the mother of inventions. COVID-19 may have been an albatross of a sort to every segment of the society including education. However, there are some fallouts that are good tidings, which trailed the pandemic.
In many communities across Nigeria, most vocational centers have become a rendezvous for youths seeking alternative trajectory to develop themselves and even eke a living.