Experts urge FG to include ICT, others in education curriculum
Some experts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have urged the Federal Government to include ICT, Science and Technology innovation studies in the nation’s education curriculum.
They said students having working knowledge of these subjects would be able to compete favourably with their contemporaries the world over.
They spoke at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu.
Dr Leo -Stan Ekeh, Chairman, Zinox Group of Companies, said that ICT should be made compulsory at all levels of education.
Ekeh, represented by Mr Dave Ibelegbu, Managing Director, Zinox Group of Companies and CEO Yudala, said this in a paper titled : “The Role of Information and Communications’ Technology in National Economic Development’’.
Ekeh said that the world was gradually moving from ICT to Information and Knowledge Technology (IKT) because knowledge rules the world.
“The ICT economy is, gradually, being replaced by a knowledge-based economy and if we are not moving with the world, then, we will be left behind.
“Knowledge-based economy teaches students how to start making money from school and thus reduces the rate of unemployment, ”he said.
Ekeh also said that the power of economic competitiveness of a country depends on the productivity of its ICT sector.
“Indeed the greatest national resources for meaningful and sustainable economic development are undoubtedly human resources which has been capitalised by ICT potentials,’’ he said.
Ekeh said in a knowledge-based economy, information circulates at international level through trade in goods and services, direct investment and technology.
“The ICT sector plays an important role by contributing to rapid technological progress and productivity growth while human creativity is the ultimate economic resource which can only be extracted through innovative knowledge- education,” he said.
Ekeh said for Nigeria’s economy to develop through ICT, the government should include Technology and Innovative Entrepreneurship in the Nigeria Education curriculum.
This would ensure an industry- to- university model for skill enhancement, he said.
He said that all domains of education should have broadband-enabled ICT access with special internet education rate (e-rate) as subscription.
“Nigeria should lead the promotion of the establishment of ICT parks and innovation hubs in Africa.
“National fiscal policy ensuring unhindered financial access to investors in the ICT sector should be pursued with a five-year-tax-free incentive to innovative start-ups, ” he said.
Also, Mr Demola Aladekomo, the Group Managing Director, Chams Plc, said that the government needed to add ICT to its educational curriculum at a very early age in order to achieve the ‘catch them young ‘ target.
Aladekomo’s paper was titled: “Capacity building through ICT’’.
He said that the ICT capacity could be built when people had the right education and the conductive ICT professional to churn out products.
“It behooves on a nation like ours to set up and drive ICT policies that will make massive socio-economic impacts.
“This is a clarion call to the Federal, state and local governments to partner with the organised private sector to implement ICT development initiatives, ” he said.
He said efforts to improve the educational levels were crucial and currently being implemented by companies and organizations.
He said that this was because several expanding ICT companies were unable to find adequately trained personnel.
Aladekomo said capacity building was a continuous series of activities of empowering a people or an organisation in order to increase effectiveness, efficiency, high quality of skills.
According to him, this will, ultimately, lead to higher productivity.
“Specifically, capacity building encompasses the country’s human, scientific, technological, organisational, institutional, and resource capabilities, ” he said.
Aladekomo said the use of ICT is so pervasive and it keeps deepening across all frontiers, one could not but conclude that ICT had taken shape in every human endeavor, while increasing efficiencies for larger companies and Government organisations.
Mr Samuel Sogunro, Rector, LASPOTECH, said that the differences in economic performance between developed and developing countries could be explained by their level of ICT investment, research and competitiveness of their information societies.
“It is a known fact that the present -day global economy is essentially knowledge- based and technology driven. ICT has become the key factors contributing to economic growth in both advanced and developing countries, ” he said.
Mr Olumide Metilelu, Dean, School of Technology , LASPOTECH, said Nigeria had not been able to take full advantage of ICT due to inadequate human resource, power challenge, poor Internet accessibility and usage.