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IMPACT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION ON YOUTH EMPOWERMENT IN CAMEROON: AN ASSESSMENT OF TEACHERS PERCEPTION

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IMPACT OF  ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION  ON YOUTH EMPOWERMENT IN CAMEROON: AN ASSESSMENT OF TEACHERS PERCEPTION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Entrepreneurship fuels growth by serving as a catalyst for innovation, driving change, and harnessing creative knowledge. According to Ojeifo (2019), it has been instrumental in driving economic development within the ever-expanding global market. Additionally, entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized globally as a crucial driver of economic progress and societal advancement. 

Entrepreneurship education refers to the process of imparting knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to entrepreneurship to individuals. It encompasses teaching about various aspects of starting, managing, and growing a business venture, as well as fostering an entrepreneurial mindset characterized by innovation, creativity, risk-taking, and problem-solving abilities.(Ojo and Uwagwu, 2020). However, the goal of entrepreneurship education is to prepare individuals to recognize opportunities, navigate challenges, and effectively pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, whether by starting their own businesses or contributing to innovation and growth within existing organizations.

Recently, Cameroon have witnessed a growing emphasis on entrepreneurship, with various initiatives aimed at nurturing innovation and enterprise culture. Government policies now prioritize fostering creativity and innovation among young people, recognizing their vulnerability and the need for support, as outlined by the African Union Youth Charter (Okoli, 2018). Youth empowerment, according to Blanchard (2019), involves enabling young individuals to make choices and effect positive change in their lives and communities. However, despite these efforts, job creation hasn't kept pace with the expanding working-age population. The reliance on public sector employment, which historically absorbed many young job seekers, highlights the urgency of transitioning toward private sector-driven growth and self-employment. Nevertheless, the vast potential of the youth remains largely untapped (Emmanuel, 2019). Various stakeholders, including the government, NGOs, and international partners, have introduced programs to promote entrepreneurship education, facilitate access to finance, and provide business development assistance. However, significant obstacles persist, including bureaucratic red tape, limited financial resources, and inadequate infrastructure. 

Based on the research conducted by Ojeifo (2019), integrating entrepreneurship education into Cameroon's educational system is a relatively recent development. This indicates that all students are now required to participate in comprehensive entrepreneurship programs, regardless of their chosen field of study (Ibeleme, 2017). Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the impact of entrepreneurship education on youths empowerment in Cameroon

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Cameroon, situated in Central Africa with its rich cultural diversity and abundant natural resources, faces a pressing issue of youth unemployment and underemployment. In this context, entrepreneurship emerges as a promising solution for empowering individuals and fostering socioeconomic growth. Despite the potential benefits, Cameroon grapples with economic hurdles such as high levels of youth unemployment and limited avenues for economic progress. Entrepreneurship, as defined by Hisrich, Peters, and Shepherd (2017), involves identifying opportunities, taking risks, and generating value through innovation and the establishment or enhancement of business ventures. Similarly, the proportion of youths without jobs compared to adults has remained nearly unchanged in recent years, holding steady at 2.7 in 2013( O’Higgins,2018). This means that young individuals are still almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, and the ongoing rise in global unemployment disproportionately affects them. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2018, the worldwide employment-to-population ratio decreased by 1 percentage point between 2012 and 2019. The impact of youth unemployment on this decline in the employment-to-population ratio was particularly noticeable in the Developed Economies and European Union region, as well as in East Asia. Furthermore, youth unemployment presents intricate economic, social, and ethical policy challenges in Africa, particularly in Cameroon. Additionally, it's widely recognized that this issue is intertwined with the broader problem of unemployment and underemployment prevalent in nearly all African nations (Kanyenze, Mhonne, and Sparreboom, 2020). Furthermore, young people in Cameroon are confronted with significant challenges related to unemployment and underemployment. According to the latest national survey on employment and the informal sector, the expanded unemployment rate for individuals aged 15-35 is close to 13%, while underemployment levels reach as high as 71.9%. While many young Cameroonians heavily rely on securing jobs in the public sector or civil service. However, with the government's mounting debt, there's a lack of sufficient opportunities to accommodate all the youth seeking such employment (Evans and Leighton, 2019). Beyond teachers perception and role in implementing entrepreneurship education, the government offers start-up loans to youths, but these initiatives often suffer from politicization. However, recognizing the growing threat posed by youth unemployment and migration, the government has established specific ministries and programs to address the challenges faced by Cameroonian youths. Nevertheless, this indicates that the underlying issues contributing to the extent and scope of youth unemployment in Cameroon have yet to be adequately identified and resolved. Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the impact of entrepreneurship education on youths empowerment in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is  assess the impact of entrepreneurship education on youths empowerment in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Assess teachers perception on the need for the implementation of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools in Cameroon.

Assess teachers perception on the role of entrepreneurship education towards youth empowerment in Cameroon.

Assess teachers perception on the factors hindering the effective implementation of entrepreneurship education in Cameroon.

 1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is  teachers' perceptions regarding the necessity of implementing entrepreneurship education in secondary schools in Cameroon?

What is teachers' perceptions regarding the role of entrepreneurship education in empowering youth in Cameroon?

What is teachers' perceptions regarding the factors that impede the effective implementation of entrepreneurship education in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: There is no significant relationship between entrepreneurship education and youths empowerment in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between entrepreneurship education and youths empowerment in Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will inform the development of policies and programs aimed at supporting entrepreneurship among young people in Cameroon. By being aware of the factors that lead to the development of successful entrepreneurship and youth empowerment, policymakers can design targeted interventions to support aspiring young entrepreneurs and foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. Furthermore, the study will identify ways to promote greater inclusivity and ensure that all young people have access to opportunities for economic and social advancement. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of entrepreneurship education on youths empowerment in Cameroon.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is to assess the impact of entrepreneurship education on youths empowerment in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will assess teachers perception on the need for the implementation of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools, assess teachers perception on the role of entrepreneurship education towards youth empowerment in Cameroon and assess teachers perception on the factors hindering the effective implementation of entrepreneurship education in Cameroon

Geographically, the study will be delimited to youths of Yaoundé, Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.8 Definition of Terms

Entrepreneurship: refers to the process of identifying, creating, and pursuing opportunities to generate value through innovative ideas, products, or services.

Empowerment: refer to a range of activities and actions that may involve self-assertion, collective resistance and protest which are all geared towards mobilization of the youth towards the challenge or burden of unemployment and poverty in our society.

Youth empowerment: means all positive efforts taken deliberately towards improving the lives of young people, efforts channeled towards developing the capacities of young ones to draw the best out of them, bearing in mind that they are truly leaders of tomorrow.

Entrepreneurship education: is the process of imparting knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to entrepreneurship to individuals.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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