Professor Atayero Urges Stakeholders to Rethink Administration of Education
The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, has forced people around the world to do things differently and faster. As such, stakeholders in the Nigerian education sector must rethink the way they administer education.
That was the highlight of the submission of the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, at a webinar event ‘EdTech Summit’ held on Monday, June 29, 2020, with the theme ‘Emergency Response: EdTech for Teaching and Learning’.
While making his presentation, Professor Atayero, one of the Keynote Speakers, said that the Departure Philosophy of Covenant introduced at the inception of the institution, her core values, and courses like the Entrepreneurial Development Studies and the Total Man Concept had prepared Covenant for the present situation.
He stated that the University had received a lot of validations showing she was on the right track, with the recent ranking of the institution among the top 150 young universities in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings being an example. “We are very disruptive; Covenant sees COVID-19 as a catalyst helping us to do things fast,” he added.
The Covenant Vice-Chancellor stated that aside from the availability of excellent online resources for the teaching of students, Covenant had partnered with Coursera to enlarge her learning platform and boarded her students, faculty, and staff. A similar partnership, he noted, existed with Whova which enabled the University to run her conferences online. He opined that with time, online would replace conventional education, considering the rate technology was growing.
The Professor of Communication Engineering allayed the fears in some quarters that there would be discrimination against those who earn their certificates through online education. “As at this morning, I’m not aware of any policy, national or otherwise, that says you should discriminate against online graduates. What employers want now is what kind of skill you possess; it does not matter where you got the talent.”
There were presentations by other Keynote Speakers, such as the Vice-Chancellor of Bowen University, Professor Joshua Olalekan Ogunwale, who regaled the audience with the efforts being made by his institution to be virtual teaching compliant. And the representative of the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University (NOUN), Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, who maintained that online was the way to go, said that the Open University, hitherto unappreciated by many, was now attracting extensive patronage.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Arc. Sonny Echono said that while the nation always had an ICT policy, COVID-19 had accelerated its implementation. He stated amongst other resolutions that the Ministry would have to train teachers in digital proficiency, acquire new broadband for access, develop partners for best practices, and encourage institutions to have all their courses online.
Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero