€1,000 CTA – NEPAD Essay Competition (Africa-wide)

Deadline: 15 August 2011

ESSAY COMPETITION: Looking at ICTs and agriculture in Africa through the eyes of women and the youth. Enter the competition to win EUR 1000 and join NEPAD’s 10th Anniversary!

The New Partnership for Africa‟s Development (NEPAD) Agency and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) have joined forces in celebrating NEPAD‟s 10th Anniversary. It is within this context of reflecting over the advancement of the African development agenda, that the two institutions are jointly organising an essay competition under the theme; “Looking at ICTs and entrepreneurship in agriculture and rural development through the eyes of women and the youth”. This contest also falls in the framework of CTA activities on Youth, Women and ICTs. In line with these objectives, CTA and the NEPAD Agency are searching for enthusiastic African young people (writers, journalists and other youth), who want to demonstrate their abilities by examining these issues.

The Awards recognize excellence across a number of categories centred on the attraction, retention and progression of youth, women‟s and African talents to further the African development agenda.

Visit the Writers Africa website for more information.

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WORKSHOP ON REVIEW OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) CURRICULA


A workshop on the review of Information Technology (IT) Curricula was organized by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) in collaboration with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) held on 22nd March, 2011 at the Lagos Airport Hotel. In attendance was the Executive Director Standard & Regulation NITDA in the person of Barr. Kemabonta Inye, representative of the Executive Secretary National Commission for Colleges & Education (NCCE) in the person of Mr. Pius, representative of the Executive Secretary National Board of Technical Education in the person of Chief A. A Mba, the Chairman in the person of Prof. S. B Unaiju Chairman from ABU Zaria, the Registrar of CPN, the God-father of Computer Science in Nigeria in the person of Dr. Isaac Adeola Odeyemi  amongst others.

The chairman’s opening remark address the use of obsolete programming language in our higher institute of learning e.g. “Fotran”.  A review is needed to enable us meet up with IT in this age. The “God-father of computer science” advised that IT review should not take up to 5 years as the world of IT is continually  growing and expanding at an alarming rate and as such IT curriculum should be inculcated into our primary and secondary school syllabuses and not only at the tertiary levels. He also advised that a one year after NYSC be introduced for graduates to specialize in any aspect of IT to make them globally competitive.

There were two paper presentations shown namely:

  1. Implication of IT components of Vision 20-2020 to Curriculum Development
  2. IT Curricula Review for Global Competitiveness by CPN

PAPER 1: IT Curricula Review for Global Competitiveness by CPN

Introduction:

IT has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Globally, IT professionals now drives the business and economy of the world e.g. Facebook, Google. Any country that cannot review its IT curricula cannot compete globally in the world.

Reason for IT Curricula Review

  • Keeping abreast with the rapidly changing IT discipline e.g. new technology, www, use of the internet and its applications. We need young Nigerians that can break barriers and compete globally with the people from US, UK, and the likes.
  • We need to produce professionals for the national and international labor market e.g. international companies are trying to recruit our young and without IT they cannot compete

What do we need to focus on in the Review of IT Curricula

  • Problem solving skills
  • Programming and software development
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Continuous development of programming skills through use of best practices.

Skills expected from IT Graduates

  • Ability to apply knowledge of computing & mathematics to their discipline
  • Ability to analyze a problem and apply the required technical skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Ability to apply local & global aspect of computing
  • Ability to apply current techniques & skills for computing

Strategies for IT curriculum Review

  • Policy for IT teachers to undergo training skills & competence periodically to be updated
  • Curricula review every three years

PAPER 2: Implication of IT components of Vision 20-2020 to Curriculum Development

Introduction:

Vision 2020 is a bold attempt to redirect national energy; it has a far reaching implication on every sector of the economy. The vision is people-centric and its greatest implication yet is the area of human capital development. Curricula are a deliberate response to national aspirations and development because there’s a link between Curricula and every aspect of national development. An example is the Israeli and Singapore who used the abduction and adoption of ICT into their Curricula to become competitive and to change their economy.

Highlight of the ICT Component of the Vision 20-2020

  • Development of  Knowledge based  Economy
  • Blue print document identifies ICT, ST(Science Technology) and innovation as the key points in the platform of Nigeria’s economy
  • Ensure access to IT infrastructure availability to all

Implications and Recommendation

  • Look at the existing IT policies, policy of education and then match all Policy on IT to vision 2020 for sync.
  • Update the IT for development blueprint
  • Embark on comprehensive review of the Curriculum, and the review should cut across all fields such that IT is inculcated into every field of learning.

Syndicates groups were organized to discuss policy documents and come up with ideas, raise different suggestions to be deliberated on, on which the new curriculum will be based. There was room for interactive session of question and answers. Certificate of participation was given to every person that participated in the review.

The chairman concluded that the review was a process and that the goal we all have in mind for a competitive and knowledge based economy will be achieved from the review of the curriculum.

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