Some stakeholders in the education sector on Monday advocated stiff sanctions against defaulters of the statutory 6-3-3-4 education system.
The stakeholders were reacting to the practice by some parents, in connivance with some private schools, to skip their wards’ sixth year in primary school to seek admission into secondary school.
They contended that some of the children, upon completion of their secondary education, have also been denied admission for violating the 16-year National Universities Commission (NUC)’s minimum age rule for admission into the university
The stakeholders noted that the trend which is on the increase, negates the spirit of the 6-3-3-4 education system and portend negative effects for the children.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that, in 1973, the education system was updated to 6-3-3-4 translating to; six years primary, 3 years junior secondary, 3 years senior secondary and 4 years tertiary education, similar to the American system.
Mr Simeon Fowowe, National Coordinator, Association of Nursery and Primary Education Instructors in Nigeria (ANPEIN) told NAN that “it is an offence for schools not to implement the education policy of the 6-3-3-4 system and should fetch defaulters sanction’’.
He reiterated that the policy stipulates six years of primary education and anything to the contrary would amount to criminal offence.
The coordinator said that there were policy and administrative reasons why the government adopted the primary education with six classes.
According to him, each class has its sociological and psychological underpinnings with its age duration.
“One wonders, why the parents and guardians criminally collaborate with schools to distort this system.
“The result is lethargy. Remember, being in a hurry does not make your children exceptional.
“Instead, you are preparing the children for a hurried future life, which would profoundly affect their ways of life.
“This hurried life also affects the way the kids reason and the way they perceive life, which ultimately make them immature and affects the way they function at workplace,’’ he said.
Fowowe stressed that the practice must stop forthwith and urged the government to enforce sanctions against offenders.
A parent, Mrs Nonye Offorjama, who has two of her kids in primary school, contended that such distortion in education could put children at a disadvantage and risk.
Mrs Gloria Idenumah, an educationist said the University of Lagos’ admission policy of not admitting below 16 years was a welcomed development in addressing the trend.
Some students, even after emerging best in Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), had been denied admission by the institution for not attaining the statutory age.
Idenumah noted that the university is an adult environment for emotionally, physically and psychologically matured beings.
She said that when a child gets into the university, he or she is absolutely in an adult environment.
“The university is a battle ground, not an environment you want to plunge a child into,
”He may come out with a First Class, mind you, but he could be useless to himself and end up bitter with everybody especially those who sent him into that school too early.
”So, parents, life is not just about good classroom, grades, and success is not just about academic records,’’ she said.
On her part, Mrs Veronica Azu, a retired educationist, said that despite parental preferences, many educationists do not agree that children should exit primary school from Primary Five.
“We have always said that there was nothing wrong with the policy of six years of primary education,’’ she said.
Azu explained that, apart from being half-baked in terms of “jumping’’ all the things they should learn in Primary Six, the kids often find it difficult to take proper care of themselves.
Similarly, Mrs Yemisi Abhulimen, a parent with three kids in primary school, said that in her days, a child would not be admitted into Primary One until he or she was six years old.
Abhulimen said that the policy was still obtainable, until the middle class grew into parenthood and mothers became collared workers.
She said the penchant for the hurried education of the kids has brought distortion into the education system.
“Time is ripe for those in the authorities to step in, put a stop to the untoward practice and return everyone to order,” she said.
Edited by Kamal Tayo Oropo, Rotimi Ijikanmi
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NCS to set up Innovation Development Fund to boost ICT
Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has concluded plans to set up Innovation Development Fund to transform initiatives for sustainable entrepreneurship in ICT.
The newly elected President of the group, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, said this on Friday in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.
He said the fund would be used to provide educational scholarships and sponsorship to attend conferences, workshops as well as support for high impact research.
“It will increase IT education and research achievement in the country and provide ability to seize IT education and research opportunities as well as to fulfill potentials to many who are presently excluded.
“Human capital in Information Technology is a top priority for the nation because Nigeria needs people in sufficient numbers with such appropriate expertise to assist the nation to survive and thrive in the knowledge economy.
“Through this fund NCS shows exceptional commitment to the sustainable national development of Nigeria by significantly increasing opportunities for Information Technology education and research attainment nationwide,’’ Sodiya said.
He said in a way of giving back to the society and support educational and research development, NCS gives scholarship and sponsorship fund to young innovators.
Sodiya said scholarships were the best and most effective ways for students to be granted the opportunity to realise their dreams for sustainable education.
“We must continue to get government to do the right thing in IT adoption, usage and development,’’ he said.
NAN reports that NCS was formed in 1978 having transformed from the then Computer Association of Nigeria (COAN) to become the umbrella body of all IT professionals in Nigeria.
NITDA, TETFUND sign MoU to advance IT in tertiary institutions
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deploy emerging technologies and ensure digital inclusion in tertiary institutions across the country.
The MoU, which process started four years ago between the two institutions, was signed on Friday in Abuja.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the MoU focuses on Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Deployment; Human Capacity Development; Deployment of Emerging Technologies and Digitisation of Services in tertiary schools.
Other areas are Project Management; IT Academy Deployment; ICT Policy Development and Emerging Technologies and Deepening of Research and Development with ICT in tertiary institutions.
The Director-General of NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami, said that the document was strategic as no institution of government could develop in isolation.
“Although most tertiary institutions are already using ICT in their activities, there is a need to upgrade to include emerging technologies to be at par with the global trend.
“So many schools in Nigeria do not have old records of their activities and when past students misplace results or certificates, they only engage in swearing court affidavits.
“However, with Block Chain technology, Artificial Intelligence and other forms of modern day technology, schools can digitise their activities which will save cost, energy and ensure efficiency.
“Our universities are becoming highly populated, but with IT, we can make easier the learning process which will de-congest the classrooms.”
He said that if the two institutions remained committed to the provisions of the MoU, the intervention would go a long way to ensure the consolidation of IT in tertiary schools.
Pantami also encouraged TETFUND to set up a committee in collaboration with NITDA to facilitate the implementation process of the MoU.
Prof, Suleiman Bogoro, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, on his part, said that quite a number of emerging technology solutions were very creative, innovative and enhanced learning.
According to Bogoro, such emerging technologies are needed for a knowledge-based economy and reduce issues of plagiarism in tertiary school programmes.
He added that the MoU would be for the benefit of the students and lecturers because ICT was required for every process of learning.
The secretary commended NITDA for providing ICT facilities in many tertiary schools across the country.
Use Artificial Intelligence as second teacher in schools- IT experts
A Convener at Data Science Nigeria, Mr Bayo Adekambi, on Thursday urged schools management to make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a second teacher.
Adekambi made the plea at the 3rd Biennial Conference on: “Transition from Observation to Knowledge to Intelligence (TOKI)’’ held at the University of Lagos, Akoka.
Artificial Intelligence is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic “cognitive” functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.
TOKI is the Biennial forum for the presentation of new research results and for the demonstration of new systems and techniques in knowledge management, Competitive Intelligence, Big Data and Semantic Web.
Others are IOT, Resource Management, Web Mining, Natural Language Processing, Interoperable and Adaptive Information Systems as well as Data Science.
Adekambi said that using artificial intelligence camera as a second teacher would help schools to monitor the behaviour patterns of each student in the classroom.
“AI class monitor camera records class sessions in a non-obtrusive manner. The faces of each child is blocked, but each person is recognised with an automatic unique code.
“Students in the class behaviours and facial emotions are placed and profiled with the camera and at the end of the class, the teacher can study and understand each child’s pattern of learning.
“AI camera will help the teacher to make informed decisions about each student in the school and differentiate the ones that prefer personalised learning experience or vice versa, “Adekambi said.
He said that Nigeria was among the four nations with the highest number of overcrowded classrooms in its secondary schools.
Adekambi said that quality learning experience and study of students’ behavioural patterns could not be achieved in an overcrowded classroom.
“It is impossible for one teacher to be able to offer quality education to a large number of students at the same time.
“The AI camera would be able to tell the level of engagement of each student in a classroom, and also predict the academic performance of each one of them,’’ he said.
Adekambi said that the cost of an AI camera was less than the salary of a teacher; urging schools to invest in such technology.
Also, Dr Olufade Onifade, the President, International Society for Knowledge Organisation (ISKO), West Africa, said that the event was organised to sensitise students on the importance of big data, artificial intelligence and data science.
Onifade said that sensitising students with the knowledge of artificial intelligence among others, would keep them abreast of the current technology trends.
Engineering Happiness project to empower 10m Nigerians, says promoter
The Promoter, Engineering Happiness (EH) in Africa, Mr Moss Uromtah, on Thursday said that Engineering Happiness would inspire and empower 10 million Nigerians through transformation solutions and principles.
He said that the project founded by Dr Arun Bhardwaj started in Namibia in May 2019 with Nigerian edition following and specially focused on “Inspiring inner transformation and transforming lives’’.
Uromtah said that the project was specially designed to trigger a real life transformation solution by sharing principles, processes and tools to fully realise creative potential.
According to him, it is also to inspire sustainable smiles on faces through learning principles, processes and using systematic innovation process with Engineering Innovation Masterclass.
He said that in the Masterclass, participants would have an experience of the mental box that inhibits innovation and learn a systematic approach to transform ideas into value.
“Participants will experience a powerful blend of innovation methodologies such as Functional Analysis, Design Thinking and Blue Ocean Strategies to solve complex programmes and establish a culture of innovation in an organisation.
“All the above translate into accumulation of valuable mindset that translates to wealth, security of life and prolonged wellness.
“Our assurance flagship programme is tagged ‘A Night of Inspiration’ with Dr Arun Bhardwaj augmented by masterclasses, keynote addresses and workshop to inspire enough Happiness Champions.
“The Happiness Champions will ultimately accelerate our mileage to bring and actualise our mission of the targeted 10 Million People-Smiles to Life,’’ he said.
Uromtah said in the Nigerian edition, there would be ‘The Engineering Happiness award’ to recognise individuals and organisations that were doing exceptional work to promote well-being in Nigeria.
He said that Bhardwaj and Chude Jideowo, Founder of Human Flourishing Company, would help the audience to learn ways to lead happy and significant lives.
The Engineering Happiness tour would commence from Aug. 17 to Aug. 27 in Lagos to share his Engineering Happiness Programme.