Takeaways From the 2019 African Edutech Conference: The Nigerian Education System Needs to be Future Ready
“In the future, no one will pay for the knowledge they can look up. So we need to make the future of our youth ready”, said Derrick Smith, Principal, Olashore International Schools during his keynote speech at the 2019 African Edutech Conference in Lagos, yesterday.
Organised by the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) together with Edtech startup, EduFirst.ng, the 2019 African Edutech Conference has presented a platform for the government, regulatory agencies, education technology innovators and educational professionals to interact on the revitalisation of the Nigerian education system.
Themed: “Education, Technology and Jobs; a Synergy that Works“, the one-day event featured Keynote speeches, exhibitions, demos and insightful panel discussions.
These panels featured industry stakeholders such as Derrick Smith, Principal, Olashore International School, Folasade Adefisayo, Principal Consultant, Leading Learning, Temilayo Esan, Team Lead, HR Strategy and Projects FirstBank, Prof Chaintai Epie, Professor, Pan-Atlantic University, Dr. Stephen Oluwatobi, Curator, Hebron Lab, Covenant University, Adetola Salau, Carisma4U Educational Foundation, and Yomi Adedeji, Co-Founder Softcom.
The Nigerian Curriculum Needs Re-evaluation
One of the major discussions explored by the various panels was the Nigerian education curriculum. It was recognised that the curriculum used in Nigerian schools are good but it needs re-evaluation to be future-ready so it can prepare Nigerian youths for the 4th industrial revolution.
It was recognised that the country needs a mind-empowering curriculum that identifies people’s talents, helps them accelerate it, to make the country’s productivity seamless.
The panellists also beckoned on the regulators to give institutions, most especially the universities, room to innovate the curriculum within the scope. And this led to a call for regulators to hold an agenda-setting conference with stakeholders, including tech innovators, to churn out a sufficient and future-ready curriculum.
Educators Need to be More Creative in Their Teaching Approach
It was noted that while the curriculum might not be very sufficient, many educators lack necessary integration skills. Hence a call for educators to re-invent their implementation of the present curriculum.
Educators were also urged to create a synergy/talk with companies as regards the skills required in securing jobs when they graduate and make the changes to their teaching according to the feedback. This includes teaching to produce “more entrepreneurs and not just labours”.
Tech innovators were also urged to ensure their disruptive solutions for the education sector are beneficial to all students keeping in mind those in the rural areas.
Stop Waiting for the Government, Step Up!
“If we are going to advance, then we need to innovate and knowledge is needed to innovate,” said Dr Stephen Oluwatobi, Curator, Hebron Lab, Covenant University.
The panels didn’t fail to address the youth to step up in their quest for knowledge. Students were urged to learn, unlearn and relearn in order to make them employable and ready themselves for the jobs of the future.
This includes not just utilising the technologies around them for leisure but for learning.
For a maiden event, the 2019 African Edutech Conference did well to provoke critical questions and ideas around the educational sector in Nigeria. And with most of the regulators present promising to work on the resolves, I say we might be looking at positive results in earnest.
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