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Summit discusses future of education amid ICT gap

Panelists at the maiden Edustart Summit, organised by the Covenant University (CU) in Ota Ogun State, have said a global revolution in education  is imminent and unavoidable. But, the challenge of where Nigeria will stand once the revolution crystalises still remains.

Panelists at the maiden Edustart Summit, organised by the Covenant University (CU) in Ota Ogun State, have said a global revolution in education  is imminent and unavoidable. But, the challenge of where Nigeria will stand once the revolution crystalises still remains.

The summit also revealed the kind of teaching style that would be in vogue in addition to students’ approaches to learning, amid upsurge in modern teaching gadgets.

The panel discussion was led by CU Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, Dr Steven Oluwatobi.

Imole Oluyomi, the co-founder Passng.com, an ICT consulting firm, warned undergraduates, who hide under the guise of group work assignment to perpetrate laziness, to desist.

According to him, what makes young graduates marketable and appealing to would-be employers is not only what they studied, but the total learning experience in and out of school. They include team spirit, good working relationship, flexibility, internship, and ability to inspire others towards achieving goals.

He said:“I recall as an undergraduate, whenever we were given a group work assignment, some of those in my group would just push everything to me and would not contribute anything. In the end I would be the one doing it all and presenting on behalf of others. Unknowingly to me, I was building myself gradually and see where I found myself today.”

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Femi Iromini, the Country Manager of Lead360, a firm which partners universities in Africa to prepare students for the job opportunities after graduation, said his experience showed that graduates of nowadays are less passionate in pursuing careers in courses they studied. Rather, they are flexible in learning new experience, especially those ones that are ICT-driven.

This, he added, called for a new orientation and partnership between universities and industries in which the former designs new curriculum, which could be experimented for undergraduates on internship programmes, while experts from the latter are brought into universities to share their experiences with students.

Co-Founder Yardaversity, Oludare Akinlaja,  said education is experiencing disruptions, courtesy of a revolution in classroom technology, which is now making learning look more like fun than the age long lecturer-teacher classroom structure.

He urged schools and institutions to create a classroom environment that makes learning fun from basic to tertiary levels.

“We need to demystify learning from the old teacher or lecturer/student style by making it more appealing through introduction of games. From my experience, I have discovered that students across board, are losing interest in spending hours in the classroom listening to a lecturer. They also have ideas they want to put those ideas forward. Therefore, learning has to be flexible and more interactive.”

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Former Director, Corona Schools Trust Council, Mrs Folashade   Adefisayo, bemoaned the curriculum, which she said has lost rhythm with modern day realities.

”Our curriculum is simply ridiculous. It needs to address content and skills,” she said.

Adefisayo, who is also a board member Teach for Nigeria, said while the nation’s curriculum must be tailored like its British counterpart, where learners acquires basic knowledge that can make them whatever dream to be.

With the ongoing revolution in ICT, Adefisayo wondered where a country like Nigeria stands amid her socio-economic and religious upheavals, as well as government’s seeming indifference to education, particularly at the basic level.

Presenting to the summit a study which he was part of, former executive secretary National Universities Commission, Prof Peter Okebukola, noted that within the next decade, there would be a surge in the use of hand phones and tabs, which would also aid plagiarism by students, overloaded curriculum, as well as students with weaker values and characters.

Others include: slight improvements in teaching facilities; governments’ inability to pay teachers; increase in compromised public examinations and the Nigerian society demanding more from the school system.

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