The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and key stakeholders have advised teachers to take advantage of modern technology to teach and train students.
The union and stakeholders disclosed this at the 5th National Conference with the theme: ‘’21st Century teacher education programme: Technological, pedagogical and content requirements’’ organised by COEASU, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka chapter.
Chairman of the event, Prof Nsongurua Udombana, Pro-Chancellor and chairman, Governing Council of Ritman University, Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, told the gathering that no nation can develop above the level of it education and said the 21st century classrooms must have modern technology facilities.
According to him, the current tools for learning in the country can not bring transformation, stating ‘’we need a paradigm shift if we must progress like other nations’’.
In his keynote address, Prof Biodun Akinpelu, from Faculty of Education, Lagos State University, described the theme as not only apt but packaged to address current imbalance in the national search for practical solutions to the stunted growth and development as a nation.
Hear him: ‘’It is obvious today that teachers, especially in Nigeria, are operating within a structure and framework that are based within the 19th Century construct. There is no doubt that technology has played and will continue to play significant roles in instructional delivery mechanism of the 21st Century.
‘’It has to be emphasised that the era of pen-paper-chalkboard education has faded out. Gone are those days when all teaching-learning activities heaped up on the teacher in the classroom space as if to declare him the reservoir of knowledge.’’
Akinpelu paper which was presented by Prof Udombana, observed that teacher preparation efforts to develop young minds for the future have to reflect the fact that 21st Century teachers cannot afford to do the same things the same way anymore.
‘’Inclusive education and integration of technology have to form a major part of our professional efforts. The pace at which technology in the classroom is moving can only be described as rapid. The 21st Century teacher just needs to move along with it’’, the don added.
Deputy Provost, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo State, Dr. Theo Ajobiewe, said a 21st century teacher is one that is Information Communication Technological compliant and also that 21st century technology provides opportunity for students to acquire knowledge using ICT facilities.
Ajobiewe, who was represented by Dr. Segun Ogunkunle, chief lecturer in the Department of Integrated Science at Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo State, said application of appropriate technology in the classroom teaching, learning and research is rapidly becoming popular, thus a 21st century teacher is one that keep abreast with technological development in his chosen field.
He added that the 21st century teachers look forward to the future and are aware of the ever changing trends in technology and are in tune with what the future may bring to education.
A Chief lecturer in Department of Mathematics and Statistics of FCET, Akoka, Dr. Adedayo Oluranti, in her presentation said teachers must constantly update their knowledge of new and emerging technology that they can use to teach their students effectively.
Adedayo explained that Nigeria needs to borrow a leaf from the example of Finland which has put in place good programmes for effective preparation of competent teachers who will pass on their competence and skills to the students they teach so that they can cope with 21st century challenges.
She commended COEASU for the conference and advocated the use of modern day technology in teacher preparation and training of students using effective teaching strategies on well crafted dynamic curriculum tailored at meeting the need of the 21st century challenges.
In his speech, COEASU chairman, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka chapter, Mr. Oje Ebenezer said the conference marked another epoch in the branch quest to address issues that bother on the essence of the profession.
‘’As serious stakeholders in the development of education in Nigeria, it is imperative we take a second look at the package dispensed to our products in the light of technological expansion and innovative thinking, so that education in Nigeria will not be operating in the paleolithic age in this jet age’’.
The union used the occasion to bestow award on Mr. Iheanacho Obioma, chairma, governing council of FCET, Akoka and Mr. Femi Falana for their selfless service and contributions towards the development of education in the country.