Thursday, 15 September 2011

Conference warns on tomorrow's artists, ICT, energy generation
By Tajudeen Sowole
 Friday, 16 September 2011 00:00
 ART teachers and others in the academia have been warned not to underrate the brilliance of students, particularly in the age of information technology and internet-driven creativity.
In his keynote address to the Sixth Biennale International Conference of the School of Vocational Education, organised by School of Vocational Education, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, sculptor and art historian, Prof. Frank Ugiomoh asserted that the brilliance of today’s students is enough to challenge the teachers.
Sharing his experience via presentation tagged Towards an ICT Driven Vocational Entrepreneurial Education and the Challenges of Vocational Education in Nigeria, Ugiomoh of the Department of Fine Arts and Designs, University of Port Harcourt explained that he was once confronted by an art student who asked a question that challenged his art educationist status.” That experience, he said “led me into more research, thus broadening my knowledge.”
Participants at the conference
He argued that, “it’s our duty to build the child.” The application of infotech, he noted, “is therefore crucial; we must stop being analogue lecturer because the Internet has provided us with the knowledge of tomorrow.”
While noting that, indeed, the challenges facing the country in general, has spilled over to the academic environment, Ugiomoh urged educationists, “to damn the consequences and ensure that funds are available to protect our children’s tomorrow.”
The theme of the conference was Energy, Information Technology and Vocational Education. Sub themes included: Culture And Creativity In A Dynamic Nation; Employment Opportunities Through Fine And Applied Arts Education; Energy In Creativity, Style And Fashion; ICT And Pedagogy In Vocational – Technical Education; Governance, Power Sector And Future Of Vocational Education In Nigeria; ICT And Food Security; and Information Tech., Employment Opportunities Through Home Economics Education.
WHILE the lead presentation was from Prof. Familoni Oluwole, Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, other speakers and special guests at the event included artist/critic and Provost, Federal College of Educatiion, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr Kunle Filani, who was chairman of the occasion; Head of Department, Fine and Applied Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife, Osun State, Babasehinde Ademuleya; Dean, Faculty of Science, University Of Lagos, Prof Familoni Oluwole.
In his welcome address, the convener and painter, Dean, School of Vocational Education, Dr Azeez Ademola, argued that the academic environment should provide solutions internally and share gains with the larger society. He stressed that the school system should assist on national issues, and not the other way round.
“The application of Energy and Information Technology to Vocational Education is the best that can happen to us in this 21st Century and from the outcome of this proceeding, suggestions on how to achieve this will be collated and be presented to our various School Administrators for implementation as a way of moving away from the tradition that solutions to our problems must always come from outside the education system. The outside world should always be looking for solutions from the Schools and in doing this, it may provide us with additional funds that may come in form of professional or consultancy fees that can serve as Internal Generated Resources (IGR).”
Ademola also gave a brief background of the gathering, stating that it’s a follow-up of the public discourse his faculty hosted on the vocational technical education recently. The event, held in January and was tagged Vocational Technical Education, the State and Citizenry in Nigeria. Mr. Bamidele Aturu, a legal practitioner based in Lagos gave the keynote.
Noting that the conference was a “wake-up call to administrators” to rise to the challenges in the academia, he argued that the application of energy and info tech is crucial to vocational studies of 21st century.
Also, Filani traced the low productivity in the country, particularly in the creative and other sectors of vocational studies to inadequate energy generation. He lamented that smaller and less endowed countries in Africa have solved their energy problem while Nigeria is still toddling in solution.
The conference also featured exhibition of art works and other products of the School of Vocational Education. Notable names in the academia were given awards including Filani; Aladewolu, and engineer; Mrs C.C. Okeke; Dr Dan I Ifeagwu; Dr G.A.T Osifeso; Dr Mbah; and Dr.  Olaoti Afolayan.

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