EdTech Firms to be more prominent in Talent development post-COVID 19 – Professor Atayero
Educational Technology (EdTech) companies will become more prominent in the development of talents in the post-coronavirus pandemic era, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero has asserted.
While stating that COVID 19, caused by the dreaded Coronavirus, had engendered an accelerated evolution in the Education landscape (as it has in many others), Professor Atayero posited that the Ivory Tower would have to leverage on the established capacity of EdTech companies as a temporary stopgap.
He made this submission recently, during his presentation titled ‘The Future of Education: How Talents Will Be Delivered Via Technology Post COVID 19’ in an online seminar joined by participants within and outside the University.
In his juxtaposition of the education system, Professor Atayero said that in the past teachers knew it all, students were encouraged to ask teacher-friendly questions, curious students got into trouble, and taking unauthorized initiative was punishable. However, in the present critical thinking is encouraged, students spend time learning how to organize their thoughts, technology use in the classroom is all-pervasive for content access, and teachers become more technically aware amongst others.
According to him, the best teachers in the emerging dispensation would be those who could successfully impart skills for critical thinking towards lifelong learning; they would be those adept at teaching how (and not what) to learn. The successful students of the future, he stated, would be those who are disruptive in their thought processes and see nothing wrong in challenging the status quo. He added that the ideal learning environment of the future would have no walls and leverage technology to facilitate personalized and ubiquitous learning.
Professor Atayero, a communication engineer, argued that the need for disruption to the status quo had become apparent considering the long hiatus that the coronavirus pandemic had forced on educational activities worldwide. Indeed students have had to vacate campuses mainly due to the seeming supersonic speed at which people got infected. He stated with an illustration that, for instance, the closure of schools - pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary - in Nigeria ensured that 39,440,016 learners were affected. In comparison, 1,268,164,088 learners were affected across 177 countries.
For people desirous of education but do not want to be confined to the four walls of a classroom, the Covenant Vice-Chancellor suggested they could learn virtually. Some of the online education platforms he listed were Ad Astra, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), edX, Khan Academy, Udacity, Coursera, MIT OpenCourseWare, and iTunes U.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, Professor Atayero provided a brief insight into academic and research activities at Covenant University. According to him, after making her debut in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings of 2019 in the 601-800 bracket, Covenant rose to the 401-500 bracket in 2020 THE rankings and was 1st among the four Nigerian institutions in the rankings.
The University, he added, made it into and remained in the Subject Rankings including Engineering and Technology, Business and Economics, Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences among other ranking categories. He stated further that Covenant had not ceased to receive validations for the progress being made in her pursuit of the vision to become one of the top 10 universities in the world in a few years.
Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero