The education system in Nigeria must leverage technology and digitalisation to rescue itself from backwardness, say stakeholders at the Genesys IGNITE Southeast Startup Convergence.
The convergence which took place in the coal city state of Enugu, brought together technology politicians, experts, professionals, entrepreneurs and students from six states including Abia, Enugu, Lagos, Ebonyi, Uyo and Anambra.
According to Ken Nnamani, former senate president and chairman of Genesys Tech Hubs, Nigeria’s education system could become obsolete without basic understanding and appreciation of technology and digitalisation.
“If you the students take good advantage and pursue these opportunities the internet provides with vigour and passion, Nigeria will compete favourably with Silicon Valley and the world,” Nnamani said.
Puis Okigbo, founder and CEO of InfoSoft stated that the only to rescue the education system is to change the methods of learning.
“I was happy when I decided to start teaching my 6-yer old son how to use a Raspberry Pi. But when I remembered most Nigerian university graduates do not know how to interface with a Raspberry Pi, I wept. It shows how much we must change the methods of learning and teaching in Nigerian school. But changing curriculum in the Nigerian educational system will be a bureaucratic and painfully slow process so we have to find ways to break up the process and fast track learning,” Okigbo said.
However Chineye Mba-Uzoukwu who responded to the problem highlighted by Okigbo said it may not possible to build enough good schools or employ skilled teachers to educate everyone in Nigeria.
“But the internet has made the world available at our fingertips and this should be leveraged on. If you go to your village with a computer, skilled person and small generator, you have brought them a university,” Mba-Uzoukwu said.
Tony Ojobor, Director of Public Affairs, at Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) acknowledged the dismal internet connectivity rate in the South-eastern region of Nigeria and assured that measures were being put in place to address the shortfall.
Three start-ups namely Playjoor, House of Uwe and TutorFinder emerged winners of the pitching contest. The start-ups were presented a cheque of $10,000 each by Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology.