From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Owerri, April 16, (Newshour.com.ng) – Piqued by the need for human and national developments in the 21st century, Prof. F. C. Emenalo has identified teachers education as the key for accelerated but meaningful national development.
Emenalo who’s the Director, Center For Women and Gender Studies, Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri revealed this in a key note address presented at the well attended maiden multidisciplinary academic conference on contemporary education issues held on Friday at the auditorium of Imo State College of Education, Ihitte Uboma .
The conference theme hinged on, “Teacher Education In Nigeria:A Concern For Effective Pedagogy In The 21st Century” just as the Director described the theme as apt, proprose, timely, and relevant, hence, it demands the attention and positive practical actions of all education stakeholders on issues of teachers education in Nigeria, if we’re going to get it right in this 21st century.
She posited that education is the only instrument that has the potential to transform a country from primitive to civilized, consumer to producer, and underdeveloped to develop while insisting that for any nation to flourish and attain all – round developmental height, sound and functional education is necessary.
According to the Erudite Scholar “for educational system to be functional, effective and productive, well developed, comprehensive, educational policies and programmes that are out in place by the Government ought to be enabled for implementation.
“Similarly, for any sustainable change in the society, policies are made and it’s through the process of education that most policies are implemented to actualize the set goals and objectives. Therefore, there’s no gainsaying the fact that it’s the teacher who holds the key to unlock the doors at the institutional level for the implementation of these policies to actualize the set educational goals and objectives” she observed.
Emenalo advised that the fact that teachers’ attitude, willingness, motivation and above all passion for the profession are key to effective pedagogy for the 21st century skills, it becomes germane for education sector and teacher education in particular to be given urgent positive political will to produce and have willful, skilled and talented teachers who will promote, salvage and reposition the ailing educational quality delivery and it’s consequent negative impacts in Nigeria today.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Clifford Ugorji, the College’s Director, Academic Planning and chairman of the occasion expressed gratitude for the theme of the two days conference that drew critical stakeholders as participants from the six geographical areas of the country.
Ugorji noted the conference as germane that would provoke issues concerning teacher education in contemporary society and proffer the needed solutions, just as he advised the participants to be attentive and serious, saying their knowledge will aid in positive revolutionizing educational system in Nigeria.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Dr. Mrs. Chinyere Nwachukwu, the Acting Provost of Imo State College of Education, Ihitte Uboma expressed gratitude to Governor Hope Uzodimma for his administration’s commitments towards the rapid growth and transformation of the College.
Nwachukwu also applauded the members of the institution’s Governing Council being Chaired by HRH Eze Dr. Oliver Ohanwe, the Obi gburu gburu of Igboland for their sacrifices in moving the institution to a world-class level as well as the programme’s Local Organizing Committee led by Mrs. Angela Onuoha for their excellent dedications to duty and ensuring that the maiden programme is historically successful.
She further expressed gratitude to their host community for being amiable, accommodating and supportive as well as the academic and non academic staff of the College for their patriotism to duty.
The Acting Provost observed that the College though a nascent educational institution, but due to her commitments in providing all the necessary infrastructures and demands geared towards making the institution the best among equals and further instigated their hosting of this first all important multi-disciplinary academic conference on contemporary educational issues.
Nwachukwu defined education as “the foundation on which the structure which defines the resources and the potentials of a nation is built”.
According to her, ” time changes and we are supposed to change with time. The changes in science and technology as well as other aspects of the society and life in general affect education.
“There’s need to remain focused in the educational sector to be able to cope with the challenges of teacher education, the use of ICT in a globalization world and many more to which the conference will draw their attentions and proffer solutions” she noted.
Adding his voice, HRH Eze Dr. Oliver Ohanwe , the Chairman of the Governing Council who was ably represented by Prof. Anthony Unamma, a member of the Governing Council and a Senior Lecturer with Imo State University thumbed up Governor Uzodimma, for his administration’s unrelenting efforts in quality and qualitative education in the State.
Ohanwe who noted education as pivotal in any state or nation’s development extolled the leadership qualities of Dr. Mrs. Chinyere Nwachukwu, the College’s Acting Provost and her team for their dexterity in uplifting and transforming the school despite her meagre resources.
He pointed out that quality, improvement and management of Teachers Education are key elements to the advancement of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, while pleading that the outcome of the seminar will make the teacher education institutions to be more relevant,more rewarding for excellence in service, properly and adequately utilized in the society.
Also contributing, Mrs. Angela Onuoha, the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC), informed that the College management has been committed to academic excellence and growth as well as presenting platforms that would identify and proffer solutions to education challenges in Nigeria and beyond.
Onuoha assured that the conference will equally produce a reference journal of international standard and enjoined the lecture presenters to deliver original researched work anchored with authenticity and creative innovations irrespective of the scope of their works.
The highlights of the occasion apart from the cultural dances and sumptuous refreshments was the lead paper presented by Dr. Lucy Apakama, the Dean, School of Languages, AICEF, Owerri just as the Editors and Vetting Team were Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Anchor-Lee Okoro of the Department of English Language and Literature, AIFCE, Owerri, Dr. Ben Eguzozie, Dept. Of General Studies, Havilla University Cross Rivers State and Dr. Joseph Onyekperem, Dept. Of Science Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.