The Guardian
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‘How innovative education can stimulate human security’


Girl-child-educationIssues around human security are becoming more pronounced, especially as terrorism activities are getting more pronounced. And to raise the discourse on human security especially in trying times like this, with Nigeria being faced with diverse forms of violent activities across the country, Sokoto State University (SSU) decided to pick human security and innovative education as key variables for the theme of its first International Conference on Education, ‘Human Security and the challenges of innovative education’.

While delivering the keynote speech at the opening of the conference recently, Prof. Peter Okebukola said that the seven dimensions of human security are assured through education especially when it is innovative. According to the former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), education guarantees, indeed bolsters health security, economic security through skills development and employment, environmental security through environmental education and stimulation to take action to protect the environment, personal security, community security and food security through training of farmers, opportunity for mechanisation and deployment of research for improved yield and varieties.

After painting pictures of enrolment and retention in primary and secondary schools with statistics across the country, even comparing the figures with some countries within the African continent, Okebukola, who observed that some of the northern states, particularly those in the North West, have a much higher gender gap in primary school enrolment, said that a number of factors militate against enrolment, retention and achievement at the basic education level. For him, prominent among these are socio-cultural practices, misinterpretation of religious tenets, poverty and unfriendly school environment.

The renowned educationist emphasized the timeliness of the conference, noting that at no time is the relevance of innovative higher education to Nigeria’s economic survival and national development more critical than now especially during the present period of dwindling economic fortunes occasioned by slump in oil prices in international markets.

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