Kaduna students explore opportunities as schools remain closed

Students of tertiary institutions in Kaduna State are seeking new opportunities to keep busy as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise and amidst uncertainty on when schools will re-open. A survey by Arewa Trust Weekly showed that many of them have taken up businesses, such as conducting home lessons for primary school children while others are acquiring new skills in ICT.

Sadiq Jayieola, a 300L student at Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State is one of such students who have taken up home lessons for primary school pupils. He  now has about 25 students in his make-shift classroom within his compound. “Staying at home during the lockdown took a huge toll on me,” he said adding that, “as a student who depends on stipends and allowance from my parent, data subscription became difficult and so as soon as the lockdown was over I started thinking of what to do to keep busy and then settled for teaching primary school pupils in the neighbourhood,” he said. “My mum was happy and she told some of her friends about my classes. Parents were happy because most of them were tired of their children staying idle at home.” 

Jayieola, who is an educationist in the making and now charges N1,000 monthly per child, said he also sold clothes as he continues to work hard to become financially independent. Similarly, Fatima Daud, a 300L English language student said she sought for money from an uncle to start trading in cow skin also called ‘kpomo’ after the lockdown and now trades online. “Through the help of a friend I met on Facebook, who introduced me to the business of edible cow skin, I now use my WhatsApp account to advertise the goods and it has yielded positive results. Many people now call me asking to buy my product.

 “The skins are dried so I don’t worry about it going bad. When the products arrive, I take a picture and post on my WhatsApp status for prospective buyers to see. “This is a business I hope to continue even when school reopens,” she further said. For Habib Taofeeq, a final year student of Bayero University Kano, the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic has its silver lining as he has been able to develop some new skills in computer repair. Habib, who said he has been into computer engineering for the past six years, deals in the installation of software, repair of hardware  and buying accessories for customers. “Before now, I didn’t know much about the iOS operating system for MacBook computers, my focus was on Microsoft Windows but with COVID-19 and the closure of schools, I have garnered knowledge in iOS from friends and online.” He said because the world was changing and becoming more enterprising in nature, it has become paramount for students to develop themselves and learn about new business trends in addition to their educational pursuits. 

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