The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale has revealed that the University Management is committed towards providing an enabling learning environment for the students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta International School (FUNIS). Speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) training held at the International Centre for Professional Development (ICPD), the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), represented by the Deputy Registrar II, Establishment Matters and Human Resources (Senior), Mrs. Oluwakemi Banuso, noted that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako was committed to the development of FUNIS, adding that management would be ready to provide the enabling environment for students to excel.
According to her, “The management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako has always been committed to the development of FUNIS, and shall continue to do so in its quest to ensure that FUNIS maintains the height of excellence it has attained in the comity of secondary schools in Nigeria. More so, the Management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta remains committed to providing an enabling environment for you to be equipped with the relevant knowledge to cope in our ever changing world”. She commended members of staff for the giant strides FUNIS was making in imparting knowledge to the students, stating that FUNAAB-FUNIS Management have an unequivocal objective to raise the bar of excellence, which the school had been known for, adding that the school had made remarkable progress as a reference point for academic excellence.
On the objective of the ICT training, she revealed that in a bid not to be caught unawares with the recent global shift from the possession of certificates to the operation of knowledge-based economies around the world, which is hinged on information technology, FUNAAB had made it a point of duty to engage the services of a private IT consultant to provide the students with a platform that would enable them have a sound grasp of IT skills. She added that IT subjects that are in high demand include Gaming Animation, Software Development, Computer Hardware (COMPTIA), and Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOS), which were carefully selected to help improve students’ critical reasoning abilities.
Prof. Akeredolu-Ale assured that the University Management had approved the establishment of the International Centre for Professional Development (ICPD) with a mandate to provide platforms for the teaching and learning of IT skills in a digitalised society. She urged the students to give their full cooperation to the tutors from ICPD so that they can become problem-solvers and be relevant, adding that Nigeria needs problem-solvers that would adopt digital approach to fixing the myriad of problems bedeviling the country. The Centre Manager, FUNAAB-ICPD, Mr. Lawrence Kazeem stated that the objective of the programme was to bring up young learners at an early age and to teach them software programme development that would help them develop their thinking faculty, logical reasoning
and in solving various life’s problems. He stated further that the world was presently dominated by software developers, hence the need for the students to be groomed at an early age when their brains can easily assimilate many things. “We felt the need to teach them at an early age because major life achievements now come through software. We also feel that if we subject them to any reasonable programme, they would become out-standing, and we believe that before they get to Senior Secondary School 3, they would have had more knowledge in software development that would help them go far in life”, he said.
Mr. Kazeem noted that follow-up plans were in place to ensure that the pupils were constantly being trained to help develop their skills, assuring that they would be trained for two hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in FUNAAB to give them more access to the computer systems with stable power supply. He added that the programme was also organised to expose pupils to global examinations like Java and Oracle, among others. He informed that a scratch programme with the curriculum received from Canada, had been put in place to enable learners develop educative games and educative animated programmes that would help them develop their logical thinking and improve their skills.
The Acting Principal of FUNIS, Mrs. Emily Okpete lauded the ViceChancellor for giving the school an opportunity to acquire new ICT skills and to use FUNAAB facilities for the training, noting that such opportunity to explore the practical aspect of their training would go a long way to internalise the minds of participants, having learnt the theoretical aspect. While describing the event as quite enlightening, Mrs. Okpete said that the increasing impact of technology on education necessitated FUNIS to further expose their students to ICT skills in collaboration with FUNAAB-ICPD to keep them above their peers by giving them a leverage, stressing that as leaders of tomorrow, if they were not exposed to modern technology, they would be shortchanged.
According to her, “It is quite enlightening, because we have been looking forward to something like this to relax our children. We approached ICPD so that they could give them the needed training to boost their ICT skills and for us to be able to key into the transformational agenda of technology in education considering the fact that technology has taken us beyond the classroom and is no longer limited to school curriculum”. She also stated that the ICT training would help prepare the students for external competitions in Google and Microsoft, among others without disrupting normal educational activities. The Acting Principal added that the pupils were also brought to FUNAAB for their training to let them know FUNAAB as a worldclass and federal institution with much to offer, and it is expected that their visit to the school would encourage them in choosing the University as their first choice for their higher education.