This study focused on assessing the role of Entrepreneurship education on self reliance and economic development among students in Uniport. The slum was purposively sampled due to ease of access, its closeness to the industrial area and high population of unemployed students.

Descriptive research design was used, targeting students between 15 and 35 years old from 3 Entrepreneurship education in University of Port Harcourt. Respondents were selected using different sampling techniques including stratified sampling, simple random sampling and purposive sampling. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussion were used to collect both primary and secondary data, which was thereafter coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.

The study revealed that personal interest, job satisfaction and future employment prospects are the key factors influencing the choice of entrepreneurship education course by students. It also demonstrated that entrepreneurship education courses equip students with multiple skill benefits such as self-awareness, effective communication, stress management, time management, interpersonal relations, and basic problem solving. Irrespective of their employment status, the study indicated that majority of the students are still able to utilize their acquired Entrepreneurship education skills.

The study concluded that entrepreneurship education, as a source providing skilled workers, plays a significant role in enhancing self reliance and economic development among students in Uniport. Finally, it makes recommendations to public policy makers, development partners and the academy.

According to Akenbi (2000) entrepreneurship education is the acquisition of basic skills, which enable an individual to be gainfully employed in any sectors of the economy. For any country to obtain any level of development, entrepreneurship education must be put into consideration. Western education started in Nigeria when the Christian Missionaries came. During this period, they were mostly interested in teaching the word of God, converting souls and preaching the gospel. Some people were not able to fellowship, some could not walk, see or hear, therefore, they were taught how to make basket and this occupied them, aids were given to them, active/alive and to make them feel at home. Before the arrival of the missionary, vocational training had started at home, children helping their mothers to cook, boys helping their father at farm. The colonial administration participated in vocational/technical education given as a separate plan outside that entrepreneurship education involves such field as agricultural education, business education, marketing or distributive education, trade and industrial education. Entrepreneurship education comprises of vocational and technical training, which is given in schools a class under public supervision and control.

The development of skills is perhaps the foundation on which vocation education is laid the assertion has been authorize to the unanimous agreement of the three groups sample to the fact that entrepreneurship education is designed to develop skills abilities understanding and attitude of individuals. This agrees with the definition of committee on research and publication of American vocation association (1954). The primary purpose of embarking on skill development is to enable someone to do some work. Olatain (1984) says entrepreneurship education refers to systematic learning experience, which are designed to enable individuals for gainful employment in recognized occupation as semi skilled workers or technical or professionals. It equally included guidance and counselling in connecting with training and other instruction directly related through an occupation. The benefits derives from various entrepreneurship education cannot be over emphasized. It is the pride of the nation to develop more entrepreneurship education in order to activate maximum technologically. Thorp et al (1930) in their reports they expressed the view that the aim and objective of entrepreneurship education are as follows; a. The aim of technical education must be to provide or the requirements of industry, commerce and society and to adjust itself to the changing needs of the territory.

The curriculum and organization must be adopted to meet national and local demands and must not adhere to firm and immutable forms. b. Large number of men and women engaged in industry and commerce and in professional and auxiliary, occupation lack the specialized knowledge and training which would allow them to be eicient in their vocation and fit to accept greater resp0onsibility, the course must be arranged so they can improve their knowledge and eiciency while continuing employment. c. Special attention must be given to the training of teachers and personnel and for institutions engaged into training of teachers particularly for secondary schools and technical institutions and for institutions engaged in the training of primary school teachers also for person engaged in social activities such as students and community center work or in community development generally.

1.2 Statement of The Problem
Entrepreneurship education has been known as a veritable discipline for the attainment of self-reliance and can be seen in different dimensions. The various skills acquisition centres in the state are expected to produce man power at craftsmanship and apprenticeship levels. And it has been ascertained that facilities, staff, finance etc are either lacking or not sufficiently provided to achieve the expected desires. Although many technical schools and other skill acquisition centre like college of education, polytechnics are available in Rivers state for the above purposes what is not clear now is that to what extent is “entrepreneurship education helping in economic development of Rivers State”.

1.3 Research Question
In what ways does entrepreneurship education enhance self reliance and economic development among students in Uniport?

Specific Questions
1. What individual motives influence the choice of entrepreneurship education courses by students in University of Port Harcourt?

2. In what ways do students in University of Port Harcourt benefit from Entrepreneurship education courses?

3. In what ways do entrepreneurship education courses facilitate the transition into self reliance for students in University of Port Harcourt?

1.4 Overall Objective
To examine whether entrepreneurship education enhance self reliance and economic development among students in Uniport.

Specific Objectives
1. To examine the individual motives behind the choice of entrepreneurship education courses by students in University of Port Harcourt.

2. To examine the benefits that accrued from Entrepreneurship education courses for students in University of Port Harcourt be- tween 2011 and 2015.

3. To examine how Entrepreneurship education courses facilitate students from University of Port Harcourt to transition into self reliance.

1.5 Significance of the Study
Studies conducted on students entrepreneurship development as well as assessments to ascertain access and utilization of students funds in Nigeria have received adequate attention. However, information regarding entrepreneurship education, particularly its role in facilitating students to acquire competencies necessary for socioeconomic empowerment remains scanty. This critical gap in knowledge is what the study aimed to examine.

A study was conducted by CEDEFOP (2011) to review “the benefits of entrepreneurship education in 21 European countries”. Despite demonstrating the many benefits derived from Entrepreneurship education institutions in Europe, the study did not reveal whether similar gains can be directly inferred to Entrepreneurship education institutions found in University of Port Harcourt, particularly in their current establishment. It is notable that entrepreneurship education in University of Port Harcourt lack adequate resources compared to Europe, have limited staff competency, and are less adaptable to the dynamic market trends. Taking into account the current state of entrepreneurship education in University of Port Harcourt, the study examined the capacity of these institutions to impart appropriate skills for economic development.

This study specifically focused on University of Port Harcourt, selected due to its increasingly high population of unemployed students. Many of these students lack employability skills and continue to live in abject poverty despite the presence of many Entrepreneurship education institutions in the area and its prime location next to the industrial area. The study period, 2011 and 2015, was also selected to ensure the most recent findings on how Entrepreneurship education has impacted on the socioeconomic lives of students in University of Port Harcourt was obtained.

This study shall inform public policy makers, especially those in education and the economic sector. The findings and recommendations derived from this study will enhance policy decisions for improved institutional and operational reforms in the entrepreneurship education sector in Nigeria.

The academy shall also benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study, which lays basis for future research besides providing important information on the status of entrepreneurship education institutions in Nigeria.

Finally, development partners interested in entrepreneurship education sector will also benefit from the study findings and recommendations. Through this study, they will gain insight on the current status of entrepreneurship education institutions in the informal settlements in Nigeria and therefore know where to prioritize their investments.

1.6 Limitations and Scope of the Study
This study evaluated “the role of entrepreneurship education on economic development in University of Port Harcourt”. The study collected data between October 2021 and January 2022, limiting its geophysical scope to University of Port Harcourt because of financial constraints. In particular, the study targeted students in University of Port Harcourt who had undertaken Entrepreneurship education courses between 2015 and 2019 as sources of primary data, including administrators of institutions, potential employers, parents/guardian and a village elder.

1.7 Definition of Terms
Employability Skills
The term “employability skills” as used in this study refers to knowledge, skills and competencies acquired by Entrepreneurship education trainees through a process of learning and which improves their qualifications in the competitive world of employment.

Socioeconomic Empowerment
In this study, the term socioeconomic empowerment is used to refer to a state of positive social and economic transformation attributed to improved individual’s self-esteem, social acceptance and personal income.

Entrepreneurship education
In this study, entrepreneurship education refers to education based on practical workplace knowledge and skills acquired by individuals to prepare them for industrial work, trade and other entrepreneurial undertakings.

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