The Vice Chancellor, University of Uyo, Prof. Enefiok Essien has called on all Nigerians to be creative and innovative in order to raise the present economic condition of the country for lifelong learning and holistic national development.
The Vice Chancellor who made the call at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Annual international conference organized by the Department of Vocational Education, University of Uyo in conjunction with the forum of Educational Bench markers recently on the theme, “Re-thinking creativity and innovation imperative for life-long learning”, said only genuinely new ideas and innovations will be sufficient in providing alternatives that lead to a more sustainable path of development.
Prof. Essien who was represented by the Deputy Vice chancellor (Academic), Prof. Inyang Udofot, stated that since the world is not likely to return to stable times with permanent jobs, steady economic conditions, the key competence needed in the future has to reflect creativity, innovation, flexibility and entrepreneurship and commended the Department of vocational Education for organizing the conference.
In his key note address, Dean, faculty of Education, University of Calabar, Prof. Chris Chukwurah said the major instrument for individual and collective realization of aims and goals in life has been identified in the human imagination and creativity with combination of economic, Social and technological conditions. Prof. Chukwurah observed that “most of our educational politics failed not because of their poor formulation but due to poor implementation”. He therefore opined that if lifelong learning is expected to succeed, adequate funding should be the major requirement as well as man power development.
Speaking as lead paper presenter, Director, Institute of Education and professional Development, University of Uyo, Prof. Antiaobong Ekong, said the Nigeria education system has practically concentrated on the production of individuals with volumes of memorized theoretical information instead of producing individuals who are articulate in thinking. He stated that all tiers of government have problem of inability to cater for the employment of the teeming out-of-school youths, and the situation inability to carter for the employment of the teeming out-of-school youths, and the situations seems unending, “the only solution is a paradigm shift from the orthodox memorization of information to thinking in the classrooms and other learning situations”.
Earlier in his welcome address, Head, Department of vocational Education, University of Uyo, Prof. Godwin Akpan said that the theme of the conference reflects the roles of innovation and creativity in sustaining growth and development. Prof. Akpan observed that budgets and fiscal policies were running out of road to spur growth and sustain the nation’s economic and the lever of growth for the next decade falls to innovation, education, research and development.
In their separate remarks, the chairman of the local organizing committee of the conference, Prof. Enoidem Usoro and Secretary, Dr. Anedie Usoro said a time of crisis often creates new ideas and alternatives to traditional action.
They observed that at the moment, Nigeria is in the midst of global turmoil as global financial services are collapsing, economics are in a steep down turn and economic enterprises are disappearing from the map of the business world, hence, the need for re-thinking and acting in order to find sustainable solutions.
The conference which drew participants from India, South Africa, Ghana, Middle East, United Kingdom and Nigeria featured numerous paper presentations, award of excellence and formal presentation of four journals.