Prof. Steve Azaiki Lauds ISCEST 2020 Virtual Conference

Prof. Steve Azaiki Lauds ISCEST 2020 Virtual Conference

  • As ISCEST Extends Tenure Of Executives
  • As Prof. Adebiyi Harps Harnessing Positive Sides Of Covid-19
  • Advocates New Funding Models For Public Varsities In Nigeria
  • Endorses 5G Technology

By, Etete Enideneze & Uchechukwu Ugboaja

Prof. Steve Azaiki the Honourable Member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma-Opokuma Federal Constituency, Bayelsa State has lauded the leadership and members of the International Society of Comparative Education Science and Technology, (ISCEST) as they hosted this year’s edition of the annual conference virtually.

He made this remark during the opening day webinar of the conference which was joined by members of the international society from different parts of the world. According to him, it is worthy of note that this year 2020 has really been a peculiar year and the organizers of annual events like this must be given some credit for the innovation adopted to make this year’s event happen virtually.

The Federal lawmaker who in his remark also decried the state of science and technical education in rural schools across the country, promised to take members of the society on a tour of community primary and secondary schools within his Federal Constituency by next year when the pandemic is brought under control globally.

In other news, the International Society of Comparative Education, Science and Technology (ISCEST), Nigeria, has extended the tenure of its Executive Council, led by Prof. Jason Osai. This was the highpoint of the organisation’s conference which commenced November 30, 2020 and billed to end December 1, 2020.

This development followed an unanimous resolution sequel to a motion raised by Mr. Uchechukwu Samuel Ugboaja and seconded by Mr. Enifome Donatus Emesakoru, on ground of disruption of the council’s efforts by COVID-19 throughout 2020.

ISCEST is a body of academics and professionals in Nigeria, with affiliations to world organizations. It promotes discussions and research in science and technology to match theory with practice for society’s benefit.

Declaring the conference open, founding president of the ISCEST, Nigeria, Prof. Steve Azaiki, said the organization had successfully hosted six conferences offline in the past, noting that this year’s edition held online due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that as a conference that attracts attendees from across the world, it was important to host the current conference online, via Zoom.

Prof. Azaiki who is also a Lawmaker in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, thanked the executives and committees of the ISCEST as well as members and non-members from various locations for logging in to participate in the conference, which continues December 1, 2020 with main lectures.

In a keynote address, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, former Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), harped on the need to leverage on the positive impact of the Corona virus pandemic.

Prof. Adebiyi stated that the pandemic has challenged individuals, organizations and countries to adopt new methods of doing things. He gave the example of teaching and learning as well as online meetings and working from home via internet-based platforms as necessary approaches that ought to be improved upon.

Responding to a question by this reporter, on why Nigerian universities were yet to really adopt online approach to education, Prof. Adebiyi, a renowned scientist and academic, attributed the delay to poor funding and lack of modern facilities.

The keynote speaker called for new funding patterns to provide state-of-the-art facilities in Nigeria’s public universities, for instance, little contribution from parents. He stated that private universities in the country delivered lectures and held convocations virtually because they are funded by the high tuitions paid by parents of the students.

Without new funding patterns to provide adequate funds for upgrading public universities, the conflict between Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Federal Government, would never end, the don contended.

According him, the need to be prepared for the post-pandemic world was even compelled more by the Internet of Things (IoTs), which would connect nearly everything and activities online to boost data and ease human endeavours, just as the 5G network would boost speed in internet usage.

Thus, instead of been swayed by conspiracy theories, he said, Nigerians should rather embrace the new technologies, pointing out that the vaccines so far produced for Covid-19 are not connected to micro-chips as alleged.

He further gave the instance of efforts by pharmaceutical, educational and research institutions to discover vaccines against Covid-19, as another way the pandemic has gingered human efforts, advocating that Nigeria should take strategic advantage of the trends.

Similar development is being witnessed in the global economy where, he said regions and countries, for instance Europe and America instead of relying on China, are now looking inwards for home-based production of various goods and services that will lead to competition for foreign markets as well as give advantage to distribution companies whose liquidity profile would rise.

In a supporting comment, Dr. Lucky Eleanya, underscored the need for Nigeria and Africa to key into the latest innovations in the various sectors of national and global economy, reiterating Prof. Adebiye’s point of view, that the Covid-19 pandemic has created room for development of society, despite the negative effects.

Dr. Eleanya who is the vice president of ISCEST, Nigeria, thanked the congress for finding the executive worthy to serve in another tenure.

In her remarks, moderator of the online conference, Dr. Gertrude Shotte, described Prof. Adebiye’s keynote paper as timely, and a suitable pace-setter for main discourses at the conference, which ends December 1, 2020.

She lauded Prof. Azaiki and Nigeria Chapter of the ISCEST for working hard to ensure success of the webinar.

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