EHIME ALEX, Lagos
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for a review of the Nigeria’s curriculum of higher education to be focused more on technology and creativity.
VP Osinbajo raised the concern on Friday at the Fifth Convocation Lecture of the Federal University, Duste, Jigawa State, according to a release by his Media Aide, Laolu Akande.
In his view, it has become necessary as innovation in technology continues to reshape opportunities and challenges across different fields of human endeavour.
In a lecture titled “Facing the New Decade,” the Vice President said, “Education today must be education for employability, not just for its own sake. So, our curricula must be versatile and dynamic.”
He emphasized that “the focus must be on innovation, critical thinking, interdisciplinary thinking, design thinking, synergizing and collaboration with others across the world to solve problems.
“The era of cramming teacher’s notes and regurgitating for high grades is over. The graduate of the future is a problem solver, a thinker, an entrepreneur.
“Our educators, policymakers, schools, universities must now adapt their curricula, policies and projects to improve the skills that enable the graduate to nimbly and constantly respond to the ever-changing face of the economy and the workplace.”
Addressing the students specifically, Osinbajo stated that “the exciting future ahead of us, the opportunities are limitless. Go for it!”
Urging that graduates should be adequately prepared for the future ahead, the Vice President said, “there will be a truly international market place of ideas, talents and opportunities, but to access that market place you need to become a global citizen by your own effort. Self-education will be important. Second, technology in its various iterations and applications will be crucial in all and every aspect of human existence.”
He posit that Nigerian graduates of higher institutions of learning would only fit into the future driven by technological advancement if the management and teachers in the institutions review the entire system in order to adapt to realities in their environment.
He stated that “there is no question that an exciting future lies ahead, there are breakthroughs in radical technologies, capable of disrupting whole industries, and perhaps even our very conception of work itself.
“For higher institutions who are getting graduates ready for the world of work, for the graduates and near graduates who are here today, what does the disruption of the workforce by emerging technologies signify for both livelihoods and employment?”
Speaking on how societies can create more wealth he said, “So today the most successful businesses are those adding value, even our culture can become a great wealth creator but only if we add value.”
“In our future, there is truly something for everyone. We should all take advantage of digital technology, especially social media and the various platforms on offer, to grow a customer base, gain traction and advance businesses.
“You can write a blog, develop a website to sell your products or even your ideas – whatever it is you know how to do best. People are running fully-fledged commercial businesses on Instagram without a single physical shop, an opportunity only made possible by the internet.”
Osinbajo believes that Nigerians can leverage innovation in technology to rewrite the history of their communities, “We are an entrepreneurial people, a society of multitaskers who thanks to the virtual economy, can make real opportunity out of anything we are passionate about,” he said.
The Vice President who used the occasion to challenge young Nigerians to be creative and courageous enough to break new grounds, said “What is your passion? How can you take the skills that you have, and add value to the world around you?
“I have seen videos tutorials on how to make the best soups, or bake the best cakes, getting hundreds of thousands of views on Instagram and YouTube.
“YouTubers like Dimma Umeh are showing us how to do makeup, how to master that highlight and contour, and she told us in one video that she made her first million from YouTube!”
“Thanks to the social media age, whatever ideas and skills that you have can be leveraged for benefit. Your knowledge is of immense importance and you have to find creative ways to take advantage of that. While it is easier than ever to sell your knowledge and skills, it has also become easier and cheaper for you to acquire them.
“The Mobile Prof” in Lagos, for example, is teaching people how to code from their mobile phones, you don’t even need a laptop anymore! The future is about self-education and self-development.”
Adding, he urged Nigerian Universities and other higher institutions of learning to support and nurture students that would face the emerging future starting with this new decade, driven by the limitless opportunities in creativity and technology.