Afolabi urges upgrade of university ICT infrastructure over Covid-19 challenges

  • Group Head, Corporate Communications, SIFAX Group, Olumuyiwa Akande (left), Dean, Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Bola Omoteso, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, and Group Executive Director, SIFAX Group, Bode Ojeniyi, during the fifth International Conference on Education, organised by the OAU Faculty of Education in Ile-Ife

By Anthony Nwachukwu

To stem the challenges of Covid-19, which slowed down teaching and learning in Nigeria’s academic institutions, the Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, has urged relevant stakeholders to upgrade the information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in schools across the country.

In his keynote address at the fifth Annual International Conference of the Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Afolabi stated that such upgrade would provide unhindered access to quality education to all students, irrespective of socio-economic status, especially during unforeseen circumstances.

Based on the theme, “Covid-19 and the Emerging Issues in Education,” Afolabi, who was represented by the company’s Group Executive Director, Mr. Bode Ojeniyi, noted that “Covid-19 has exposed the inadequacies in our educational sector, as teaching and learning were affected during the lockdown and post-pandemic.

“There is need for a ‘state of emergency’ in the education sector in Nigeria, particularly in the public institutions, towards the upgrade of the entire educational infrastructure, with particular emphasis on ICT equipment and skills re-tooling in schools that will support virtual teaching and learning.

“The government, apart from coming up with enabling policies to support private-sector-led initiatives, must also consider setting aside ‘special funds through any or all of its development agencies, to be dedicated to the development of the educational sector technology infrastructure upgrade and personnel training/teaching faculties’ skills upgrade.”

He further called on all stakeholders, including parents, alumni and alumni associations, wealthy private individuals, philanthropists and corporate organisations to lend a hand in the transition of the educational sector to a 21st Century-compliant one that is largely driven by technology.

Earlier, the OAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, commended Dr. Afolabi and SIFAX Group for their numerous support and interventions in the education sector, especially the financial support to the institution’s Faculty of Education and other faculties.

Also, the Dean of Faculty of Education, Prof. Bola Omotesho, thanked Afolabi for his support towards the conference and solicited further assistance to reposition the faculty for improved teaching and research.

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