Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education on Thursday urged the country to put the development of human capital at the front burner to drive innovation.
Adamu made call at the ongoing 24th Annual General IT Assembly of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) in Abuja.
He also stressed the need for the country to adopt innovation that aligned with global trends to attain sustainable development.
Adamu was represented by Mr Ikechukwu Orji, Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the ministry.
“If Nigeria must attain sustainable development and enhance global competitiveness, innovation that aligns with global trend must be introduced, especially in the development of human capital.
“The development of human capital needs to be in acquiring knowledge, skills and attitude which will enable the learner be equipped and capable of meeting challenges of the evolving environment.”
He said that the Federal Government had made efforts in ensuring that ICT education in the country was repositioned to be in line with best global practices.
He said that the development of ICT education had been poorly coordinated with a lot of duplicated efforts.
“Integration of education using ICT still face poor funding, outdated policy, dearth of critical IT infrastructure and resources for learning.
“There is epileptic power supply which frustrates planning and evidence based decision making, there is lack of innovation in the use of ICT to transform education delivery,” he said.
The minister said that the ministry was mandated to review the national policy on ICT education and its implementation strategy to reflect a margin paradigm.
He said that there was need to provide ICT infrastructure in schools at all levels, establish a coordinated program for development of competences in ICT among teachers and educational administrators.
He urged the assembly to brainstorm and come up with strategies to work with the ministry and other stakeholders to tackle challenges in IT education.
Prof. Charles Uwadia, the President of CPN, said that the assembly would situate IT at the center of development in the country for harnessing its future dividends.
“Mobile computing has changed the way we communicate, Artificial Intelligence is changing the way we think, Virtual Reality is changing the way we perceive things.
“Ideas are flaring in ways never seen before and are outsmarting the conventional processes.
“Rapid communication, increased access to IT in the home, work and in educational establishments could mean that our existence is being made easy and facilitated by IT and making us part and parcel of the global community,’’ he said.
Prof. Sola Aderomu, the President, Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) said professionalism was the cardinal benchmark for every practice.
Aderomu urged the council not to compromise its standards, adding that its standards made it unique.
“As IT accelerates its omnipresence in our society, it is the IT professionals that will ensure the safety, integrity and quality of the IT solutions being provided.
“With regulatory bodies, professionalism in IT is doing well, however, we must continue to keep to date IT best practices and never compromise on the standards for registration.”
Dr Florence Babalola, the President Nigerian Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT) said for an inclusive digital country, women, especially the ones in the rural areas needed to be carried along.
Babalola urged the Federal Government to ensure that provisions made for women IT empowerment in the national budget were implemented.
She said that there was need for the review of IT curriculum to capture education from the basics “as it is obtainable in developed countries’’.
The conference is with the theme: “Professionalism in Information Technology; Past, Present and Future”.
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