The Faculty of Education, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, has organized its 4th annual hybrid conference themed: Re-Inventing the Wheels of Education for Security and Economic Enhancement.

The conference which was held at the Theatre Arts Auditorium of the University from Wednesday, 26th to Friday, 28th June, 2024 was geared towards developing strategies and proffering solutions to tackle the menace of  insecurity in order to enhance the economic development of the country.

Declaring the Conference open, the Vice- Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Elom who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Romanus Ejiaga, commended the Faculty for their thoughtfulness in hosting the conference, noting that the theme was relevant, given that functional education promotes tolerance, peace, unity and order which help in national security and  economic development.

He stated that the Nigerian government has tried in many ways to contain the security challenges facing the country including increasing budgetary allocations to the security sector, to ensure that the lives and property of the citizens are well secured.

The Vice Chancellor further noted that contemporary security challenges in the country have not only raised critical questions bordering the public, concerning the implementation and execution of the Nigerian security policy but also the need for security agents to perform their statutory duties for the good of the country.

Rep. of VC, Prof. Romanus Ejiaga speaking at the conference

He also challenged the participants to be open-minded to  new ideas to be able to identify valuable innovative tools and approaches that positively transform teaching and learning in the present digital age.

The Acting Dean, Faculty of Education,  Dr. Ntasiobi Igu in her opening speech, noted that the conference was meant to develop new ideas on how to tackle the security and economic challenges facing the country, adding that  education has an important role in addressing the challenges of national security for economic enhancement .

She therefore, said that the theme of the conference was not only an option but also an important task for national growth and development to all that will participate in the conference for a better future.

Ag. Dean, Faculty of Education, Dr. Ntasiobi Igu  presenting her welcome address at the conference

The Local Organizing Committee Chairman, Dr. Edith Obande-Ogbuinya commended the  Vice-Chancellor for his constant support to the  Faculty  of Education and for approving the hosting of the conference.

She  stressed that the conference was meant to develop a better-structured education system that will ensure national security and economic enhancement of  the Nigerian  state.

She further urged the entire participants to ensure they learn one or two  strategies for coping with  the security challenges facing  the country at the moment .

Chairman, LOC, Dr. Edith Obande- Ogbuinya speaking at the event

While delivering the keynote speech, Prof. John  Undie in  a lecture titled, “Re-inventing the Wheels of Education and Implication for Sustainable National Development in Nigeria”,  noted that the goals of  education in Nigeria were geared towards achieving a united, strong and self-reliant nation, and a land filled with opportunities and brightness for all the citizens.

He noted that in order to   reinvent the wheels of the Nigerian education system, the country needs to value what are being developed by the indigenous researchers and attempt to use same to solve national  problems.

He added that Nigeria has all it takes to be  a great nation, adding that  with a well organized structures, and with an efficient and functional   University system, the country  will attain desired sustainable national development.

He maintained that universities are at the heart of sustainable development agenda, with the capacity to  respond positively to either global, national, or local questions that bothers the citizen on what they are doing and what they  ought to do in order to guarantee national development that is sustainable, which will eventually provide positive responses and satisfaction to global question.

He argued that the goals of university education is to contribute to national development through high level relevant training and the  development of the intellectual capacity of individuals to understand and appreciate their local and external environments and also acquire both physical and intellectual skills that will enable individuals to be self-reliant and useful citizen to the society.

Prof. John Undie delivering the keynote speech at the conference

He therefore, called for genuine reforms that could bring about positive socio-economic and overall change in Nigeria and the proper utilization of all University education resources by applying the best practices as well as an updated and restructured curricula to meet the demands of sustainable development that is relevant and acceptable.

He further said that all stakeholders must co-operate and partner with government to evolve a viable and hopeful university education tradition that will bring genuine development and entrepreneurship that will benefit the people.

Prof. Joseph C. Onuoha, a lead paper presenter who spoke on “Innovative Educational Strategies for Economic Growth and National Security: Integrating Technology, Global Perspectives and Sports Management”, said that the integration of technology in education facilitates customized learning experience that will specifically be designed to meet the unique learning needs of the students.

He added that technology has taken over the delivery and consumption of education through e-learning platforms and advanced technology.

Prof. Onuoha further stated that strategic studies and global security will be helpful in educational programmes in teaching students about the global cyber security landscape, international cyber laws, and how it could be deployed by various nations to protect their digital infrastructure and also help students to gain insight into how different nations approach security and defense, by enabling them to develop strategies that enhance national and global security.

He also added that incorporating sports in education will help to cultivate discipline, leadership and teamwork, which are crucial in national security.

A group photograph of participants at the conference

Highlight of the conference was planting of trees by the keynote speaker, lead paper presenter and staff of the Faculty of  Education in  support of the Campus-Green Initiative of the University.

Some of the staff embarking on tree planting  during the conference