You can click here to download the document “Strategic Education Roadmap 2020-2030 in Akwa Ibom State: 1001+ Voices Send Memorandum to Stakeholders” (Download PDF).
Recently, I saw a memorandum that I believe is currently circulating among the critical opinion moulders in Akwa Ibom State. It is a contribution of 1001+ voices initiative to the Education Think Tank memorandum for the development of the Education Sector in the State.
According to the group’s website, 1001+ Voices is inspired by the vision of Ide Okon Owodiong-Idemeko, for Nigerians to organise and empower themselves to transform and develop Nigeria’s democracy for the benefit of the people.
Recently when the government of Akwa Ibom State set up a Think-Tank to develop the Strategic Education Roadmap 2020-2030 for the State, the organization saw an opportunity to lend their voices to this initiative – recall that concerned members of the public and interest groups were called upon to contribute.
I was made to understand that the Founder of the Organisation put together a team under the Chairmanship of Prof. Eno Ebenso to come up with ideas on how the state can get the education sector working again. The team did a fantastic job by putting up the attached memorandum which we now publish here for your perusal.
Education in Akwa Ibom State like most states in Nigeria, needs a lot to be done to bring back life to the system. Currently, it is pitiable to see a graduate of public secondary school who is unable to write a line of sentence correctly (some cannot even write their names).
In times past, secondary school leavers in technical schools were able to set up workshops and become self-employed in their various fields or partner with relevant business owners to practice their skills. But today, the reverse is the case. With the advent of politics, the education system in the state seem to be designed to produce political thugs whose hope is to be politically compensated after delving into various criminal activities to please their pay masters.
Frankly speaking, I was not privileged to see what the Think Tank set up by the Akwa Ibom State Government proposed to the State, but I believe, if the listed items in the memorandum presented by Prof. Eno Ebenso was captured, the team wouldn’t have found it necessary to include same.
Leveraging therefore on the memorandum of the 1001+ Voices Education team which I believe is in the hands of opinion moulders and stakeholders in the State already, I made a little contribution as regards the entrenchment of vocational studies to the document.
Early this year I took a tour to some secondary schools where there are ICT centers built and equipped for the training of the students in digital technology. The schools I went to were Technical School, Mbioto Ekpene Ituen in Etinan LGA, Technical College Ewet, in Uyo LGA and Etinan Institute in Etinan LGA.
I was impressed to see a computer lab well equipped. But my interaction with the students revealed that the lab had not been opened since the inception of the school term. Reason? There was no computer teacher (as in the case of Mbioto Ekpene Ituen). I had scheduled an appointment to meet with the principals but later traveled and came back at the heels of the covid-19 lockdown.
Learning the top skills in the industry as an adult is really tasking and demands a lot of time which you may not be able to give to practice time. Therefore, I think the government should adopt the “catch them young” principle by adopting the following in addition to the vocational training suggested in the memorandum.
1) That the setting up of ICT centers in schools should not be a political strategy for our everyday embezzlement but there should be provision of power and other resources needed for the continuous and successful running of the ICT center for the benefit of the students.
2) That government should as a matter of urgency employ competent hands in the industry – devoid of connections, for the training of the students in relevant computer technologies, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, robotics, hardware design and configuration, etc.
3) That the training of students of 11 years old and above should go beyond “introduction to computer” but exposing them to Full stack web development, machine learning, etc. Hands on training will be required here.
4) That once in a while, tech events be organized for students from various schools to pitch their products and the winners rewarded elaborately.
5) That government should provide laptops to students who are doing extensively well in various technologies as recommended by their tutors.
6) That parents should be encouraged to provide their wards with laptops to enable them practice these skills off school hours.
Doing this will
i. Open the floodgate of young people to ICT opportunities post-secondary education
ii. Help the state in her fight towards poverty alleviation, working remotely by these youngsters will boost the economy of the State – understand that most IT practitioners are able to work remotely from any part of the world.
iii. Enact a new wave of association among young people in the State while criminal ‘gangsterism’ will become old fashioned.
iv. Serve as the good seeds that will bear good fruits tomorrow, therefore we will be looking forward to great technologies from the State in the nearest future.
Click here to download or view the memorandum as proposed to the State government in an attempt to make democracy felt by all in the State. Try going through our portfolio in TechForest and see if we can be of service to you..