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At Babcock varsity, scholars show pathway to future of arts

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Notable scholars and university dons in Nigeria have stressed the need for a stronger and vigorous advocacy for the development and promotion of the arts and humanities. The scholars spoke at the opening of the fourth Education and Humanities International Conference, under the theme; Humanities and the Arts in a Global World: Traditions and New Directions, hosted by Babcock University Ilisan-Remo on Monday, August 26, 2019.

They observed that the continued marginalisation and relegation of the humanities is the bane of development on the African continent.Drawn from different public and private universities in and outside Nigeria, the scholars called for immediate recognition of the many benefits of the arts and humanities, noting that a speedy investment in the humanities sector shall restore societal harmony and wealth creation.

Held inside the Super Hall of the leading private university located in Ogun State, the conference rallies scores of distinguished scholars and guests from far and near who interrogated the theme of the conference in their various submissions. Professor Ademola S. Tayo, President and Vice Chancellor of Babcock University set the ball rolling by urging scholars in the academia to always relate to new developments in their areas of specialisation.

He reiterated that Arts and Humanities combine knowledge with creativity and spirituality, hence practitioners in the fields must learn how to apply their expertise in the service of humanity by keeping abreast of the new developments and global happenings in their areas of concern.

Buttressing the Vice Chancellor was Dr Abiodun Adesegun, Dean of the School of Education and Humanities who hinted that the conference was conceived out of the need to revisit methods of generating research ideas in arts and humanities that aim at solving societal problems.

While noting that arts and humanities face many challenges based on core issues of culture, language, values, ethnic and historical factors, Adesegun urged scholars to create a new nexus with other disciplines, adding that no one is properly educated until one learned about other people’s cultures.

In his keynote address entitled ‘The Humanities and National Development’, Professor Adekunle Adeniran who represented Professor Ayo Banjo-former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan- made a case for a blend of traditions with new directions. He explained that scholars should imbibe the culture of studying the old to discover the new, noting that all practitioners in the arts and humanities must follow the discourse on the theme of the conference with concrete actions. His words’ ‘Our research postulations and follow up findings together should, like compass, guide directions to widen and deepen man’s understanding of his existence, things of pleasure to him but also of his predicament and vulnerability in the volatile and dynamic world in which he lives’.

According to Professor Adeniran, arts and humanities is a multi disciplinary vocation, which comprises diverse areas of engagement such as literature, culture, history, language and linguistics, religion, philosophy, arts and crafts, sculpture, drama as well as music, which has been unduly marginalized and relegated in the academia.

The erudite scholar therefore advocated a collaborative research as a way of advancing the humanities, with the objective of finding justification for the indispensable roles, which arts and Humanities play in societal development.Another don, Professor Sheriff Folarin of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State urged fundamental reengineering if the arts and humanities beyond the concepts of mental rejuvenation and soul feeding.

He insisted that the academia should not be insulated from the larger society because each depends on the other for meaningful development. Folarin who lamented lack of initiatives, innovation and dynamism on the part of most scholars and handlers of Arts and Humanities also made a strong case for inter disciplinary approach to research in the ivory tower. He condemned inadequate innovation, obsolete equipment and wrong indoctrination that are prevalent in most African universities where courses are run in arts and humanities.

Like Folarin, Professor Adeleke Fakoya of the Lagos State University, Ojo Lagos also hinted that the humanities have a lot to offer the global economy. He argued that unlike the global interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), there is need to launch a new agenda for the Humanities in the 21st century. His words’ At this time in Nigeria’s education, both lecturers and students are at a crossroads in view of the Internet’s negative impact on teaching and learning. However, Elise Cornille provides some illumination in her article entitled The Future of Technology in Humanities.

She would rather we shunned the fear of technology and focused on how we could adapt technology to work in the humanities, and also to consider how we can use technology to advance business and society’.Other guests in attendance at the ceremony were Professor Olugbenga Adebawo who represented the royal father of Ilisan-Remo, Dr. Solomon Iguanre, Dr Babatunde Adebua; Prof Mobolanle Sotunsa, Dr Olusegun Ojuola, Dr Biodun Kalejaiye and Yinka Olorunkosebi who thrilled the guests with songs and poetic renditions.


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