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Lecturer criticizes education system

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By Abraham Adekunle

947 applicants have registered in 199 teams with 50 proposals for the challenge.

In a discourse aimed at reshaping Nigeria’s Education sector, Victor Odumuyiwa, the Acting Director of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), IT Hub (NitHub) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), delivered a comprehensive critique. His address, titled “Empowering Tomorrow: Unleashing the Potentials of Gen Z for Disruptive Innovation,” during the second edition of the Professor Ogundipe Innovative Challenge (POIC), organized by the Professor Ogundipe Innovation and Science Foundation (POISF), underscored the urgent need for disruptive innovation to realign educational objectives with practical outcomes, transcending the confines of traditional processes. Odumuyiwa’s observations shed light on critical deficiencies within Nigeria’s Tertiary Education system, calling into question the efficacy of existing design frameworks, curricula, and program durations. He emphasized that the prevailing emphasis on course offerings over genuine learning experiences falls short of nurturing the innovation and creativity necessary for Sustainable Development.

Drawing parallels with globally renowned institutions like MIT, he emphasized the imperative of flexible learning pathways, enabling students to tailor their educational journeys to suit individual aptitudes and aspirations. The lecturer’s impassioned plea for a paradigm shift resonated with attendees, particularly as he highlighted the pivotal role of practical skills and real-world applications in driving economic growth, fostering global competitiveness, bolstering national security, and optimizing resource efficiency. He urged young innovators to cultivate patience, forge strategic partnerships, and prioritize collaborative endeavours, recognizing that transformative change is catalysed by the effective implementation of ideas rather than their mere conception. The POIC stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of innovation and collaboration within UNILAG’s academic community.

Student-faculty initiative spurs POIC’s growth.

Originating from the fertile minds of students and select faculty members within the Faculty of Science, the initiative swiftly gained momentum, culminating in the establishment of a dedicated foundation committed to nurturing and incubating groundbreaking ideas. The exponential growth witnessed by POIC since its inception in 2019 underscores its profound impact on fostering a Culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the university ecosystem. Amidst the palpable excitement surrounding the event, former UNILAG Vice-Chancellor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe reflected on the remarkable journey of the competition, attributing its success to the unwavering dedication and ingenuity of the students and faculty involved.

His sentiments echoed a broader sentiment shared by stakeholders, who recognize the pivotal role of initiatives like POIC in driving institutional excellence and fostering meaningful engagement with real-world challenges. The presence of distinguished guests, including industry leaders, government officials, and academic luminaries, underscored the significance of POIC as a catalyst for transformative change within Nigeria’s education landscape. Their collective endorsement of the initiative served as a powerful testament to its potential to shape the future trajectory of education and innovation in the country.

Fostering STEM Skills & Innovation among students.

Central to the success of POIC is its unwavering commitment to fostering hands-on skills development in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. By providing a platform for students to engage in experiential learning and problem-solving, the competition empowers participants to become adept problem solvers and trailblazers in their respective fields. The emphasis on practical application and interdisciplinary collaboration underscores POIC’s broader objective of equipping students with the tools and mindset needed to navigate the complexities of the modern world. The culmination of the competition saw Team Neptune from UNILAG emerge victorious, clinching the top prize for their groundbreaking bioengineering project. Their success exemplifies the transformative potential of innovative thinking and collaborative problem-solving in addressing pressing societal challenges.

Other notable entries, including Team Horizon from Lagos State University (LASU), Team Ilucens from UNILAG, and Tfree from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), further underscored the depth of talent and ingenuity within Nigeria’s academic community. In addition to celebrating the achievements of the winning teams, POIC also served as a platform for industry leaders to pledge their support for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Generous donations from prominent figures such as Ayodele Ogunye of Nautilus Nigeria Engineering and Construction Limited and Kola Adesina of Sahara Power Group highlighted the private sector’s commitment to nurturing youth talent and fostering an environment conducive to innovation and growth.

Related Article: Digital innovations should spread across Nig.

Representatives from the Lagos State Government echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the alignment of POIC with the government’s broader agenda on education and technology. Their endorsement of the initiative underscores the critical role of partnerships between academia, industry, and government in driving inclusive growth and sustainable development. As the curtains drew to a close on the second edition of the Professor Ogundipe Innovative Challenge (POIC), participants and stakeholders alike were left energized and inspired by the possibilities that lie ahead. With continued support from all quarters, initiatives like POIC have the potential to catalyse a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s education sector, fostering a new generation of innovative thinkers and problem solvers poised to tackle the challenges of the 21st Century with ingenuity and resolve.


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