Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, the former Vice Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Ogun, has charged Nigerian youths to harnessy their knowledge via the internet to be drivers of innovation and creativity for a better Nigeria.
Adeyemi gave the charge at the Mentoring and Capacity Building Summit of Shining Star Initiative International (SSII), an NGO, in Ibadan on Sunday.
According to him, the outbreak of COVID-19 is a game changer; it has changed everything and as such one should think of post COVID-19 activities and actions that will enable one to stay afloat.
“The youths are the most vulnerable to the post COVID-19 events, including the educational system.
“To position themselves for a successful career, the youths being exposed to technology should take the initiative to see to it that they use the knowledge for innovation and creativity.
‘’That will develop the economy of the country because each country is trying to design means of survival to float,” Adeyemi said.
The former VC said through collaboration with local or international agencies or organisations, some of which are online, youth can leverage and adapt knowledge to suit local situations.
“This can translate into national or state activities that can grow the economy of Nigeria and put it in the global stage.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Seyi Osunade, Associate Professor, Computer Science department, University of Ibadan, said based on what was happening right now with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, government and education stakeholders should do more of advocacy.
“That is creating an awareness for the youths on what the pandemic is, that it is real and people still need to take precautions.
“Though the number of infected people are dropping, people still need to take precautions and as schools are preparing to resume, people should work towards maintaining the safety protocols and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our curriculum should focus more on practical skills and expressions, that is they should teach things that our students can do here to provide local solutions to our challenges.
“Things they can develop into products, because if we can adapt the knowledge we have into a working solution it will go a long way for us.
“Technical and vocational education should be encouraged more even in our normal school curriculum,” Osunade said.
The Pioneer of SSII, Mrs Omokehinde Deji-Akinpelu, said the organisation was focused on community service.
She said that the initiative started formally in 2014 with mentoring of undergraduate students at Lead City University.
Deji-Akinpelu stated that the vision of the organization was to raise purpose driven young men and women who would become world renowned in conduct, character and competence.
“We are set out to impart them with positive values and right attitude to life that will enable them become accountable and responsible adults
“You will agree with me that part of what we are facing today with our political leaders in Nigeria is lack of right mentoring.
“Some of these youths are taking wrong steps and decisions because they lack right and proper mentoring, we need to address this for a better Nigeria.”
Deji-Akinpelu further stated that youths would rather model their lives after celebrities and people they don’t even have direct access to and that had its disadvantages.
Two of the participants who spoke to newsmen, Oluwatobi Oduola and Ayomide Olukorede said their passion to influence teenagers and mentor them towards greatness fueled their participation.
They identified lack of sense of direction and career choice as major challenges teenagers are faced with and the need to help as many youths to succeed in life despite all odds.