Committee of provosts, stakeholders gathers to brainstorm on functionality of education system

Education has been described as the cornerstone of societal development and the foundation for innovation, prosperity and progress.

The executive secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, Professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle  stated this on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the maiden biennial conference of the Committee of Provost of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (CPCEN), held at the Ukeje Hall, NCCE, Abuja.

The theme of the conference is ‘Strengthening the Nigerian Education System for Functionality, Employability, and Global Relevance in the 21st century.’

He further said “strengthen the Nigeria’s Education System requires the urgent need for comprehensive reform, meanwhile, in this 21st century the global landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace.”

He averred that technology advancement, socio-economic shifts and cultural transformation are reshaping the demands placed upon education today.

According to him, functional education goes beyond the traditional confines of classrooms, but embodies an educational paradigm that equips learners with the skill, competences and critical thinking that is required to thrive in an ever-evolving socioeconomic setting.

He charged the participants at the conference, who are major stakeholders in the education system, to foster an academic environment that would embrace academic excellence and cultivate creativity, resilience and adaptability, saying employability is the bridge between education and economic empowerment.

“Our education System must be a catalyst for creating a workforce capable of not only meeting current industry needs but also anticipating and driving future economic trends,” he added.

To achieve these, he said that there must be collaboration between the academia and industry as the educational institutions must be embodiment of global citizens and individuals who understand and appreciate diverse perspectives, harnessing cultural intelligence as a tool for diplomacy and collaboration on the world stage.

He charged the committee of provosts to address the infrastructure deficits, prioritise teacher training and welfare, leverage technology as an enabler of learning and integrate vocational and technical skills into the curriculum.

He also enjoined the educators to be torchbearers of change, embrace innovative pedagogies, inspire intellectual curiosity and instill a passion for lifelong learning at the conference, noting that “your influence extends beyond the classroom; you are an architect of the nation’s future.”

In his opening remarks at the event, the chairman of the House Committee on Federal Colleges of Education, who doubled as the chairman of the occasion, Hon. Tanko Adamu, said colleges of education have over the years made significant contributions to the development of the country‘s education system through the advancement of teacher education and bringing into the front burner the role of teachers as a profession.

He said, education is a potent factor in any nation especially Nigeria, adding that the present socio-economic and political challenges in Nigerian present themselves through unemployment, corruption, political electioneering, ethno-religious conflicts and terrorism, among others

He, therefore, submitted that the education methodologies in the nation should evolve into new dimensions that will “facilitate the integration of Nigerian citizens into the logic of good governance, which will enhance and strengthen our education system and enhance its functionality and employability towards global relevance in the 21st century.”

He applauded the leadership of the Committee of Provost of College of Education in Nigeria for their initiative in organising the conference.

Earlier in his welcome address, the provost of Federal College of Education who is also the chairman of the Committee of Provost, Professor Faruk Rashid Haruna said that the Artificial Intelligence dubbed as AI, and the recent upgrade of the colleges of education to a dual mode; are development innovation greeted with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation.

He said that the conference was put in place to address the pros and cons of both development vis-à-vis education, acquired skills and their relevance to the job market in the 21st century.

He noted that with the caliber of the stakeholders and policy makers in education who were gathered at the conference, there was no doubt that the direct application of workable recommendation and solution to panels and plenary sessions of the conference for the next three day.

The highlight of the opening ceremony was the send forth of the retiring provosts, cultural dance, paper presentations among others.


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