Minister Seeks All-Encompassing ICT Education at CU IoT Conference
Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has called on all stakeholders in the nation’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector to be focused on creating opportunities for all Nigerians in participating in ICT education irrespective of gender, age and tribe.
The minister made the call while delivering his keynote address at the 2016 English West and Central Africa Safari/Internet of Things Conference, which got underway on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.
Mallam Adamu, who was represented at the event by the Director, ICT, at the Federal Ministry of Education, Engr. Ifegwu Kalu Orji, acknowledged the important role that ICT plays in the development of countries world over including Nigeria, but noted that there still exists gaps to be filled in the country to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
“ICT has permeated every sector of the economy; it’s so important that every country, industries and institutions identify with it. We must come together to promote digital access and improve ICT skills to give our youths opportunities in the ever competitive world,” he said.
Highlighting the roles being played by his ministry in ensuring ICT education, the Minister said concerted efforts are being made in the establishment of a Nigeria Research and ICT Network; construction of ICT Centres in many Federal Government Colleges; establishment of research funds; and training of teachers in ICT among others.
He, however, canvassed increase in the movement of students towards ICT education as ICT education has proved to be critical to national development in an era of globalization and also, achievements of countries are dependent on the quality of IT education given to the citizens.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, who was represented by the university’s immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Ayo, stressed the need to interconnect everything and save human beings the rigours of doing things manually, using the CU example.
As the world transit to the Internet, he said, wealth flows to those that control financial capital but “in knowledge-based economy, wealth flows to those with information”.
“As an institution, we have a research cluster tagged ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). We conceived the idea of how to make CU smart in terms of education, infrastructure, governance, security, healthcare and much more. CU introduced mobile learning whereby students have tablets and learning happens anywhere, any time through the availability of Internet,” he said.
The Internet of Things, he added, has the potential to bring the much-needed change in Nigeria and the world. “For instance, in an era of unemployment, there are enormous employment possibilities; it’s about skill development.”
Introducing the conference to the participants, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and Head, the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering of Covenant University, Dr. Victor Matthews, said the English West and Central Africa Safari/ Internet of Things Conference “is significant to the realisation of the university’s vision of being one of the top 10 universities in the world by the year 2022”.
Mr. Imoh Akpan, the Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Cisco, with whom Covenant University is partnering in the organisation of the conference, had while welcoming participants said the event sets out “to deliver quality and affordable professional development, which equips instructors to create positive and impactful experiences for their students”.
Cisco, he explained, connects the unconnected with an open-standard, integrated architecture from the cloud to end devices with exceptional reliability and security. “We’ve trained over 56,000 students, 41 percent of whom are female. This year, we want to build skills; we are looking at developing knowledge-based economy, empower people and develop entrepreneurship,” said Akpan.
About 300 instructors from English speaking countries in West and Central Africa were expected to attend the three-day conference.