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