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AE-FUNAI HOSTS 14TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF ASSOCIATION OF SOCIOLOGISTS OF EDUCATION OF NIGERIA (ASEN)

Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, recently hosted the 14th Annual International conference of the Association of Sociologists of Education of Nigeria (ASEN) geared towards proffering enduring solutions to the intractable challenges confronting education in Nigeria, which inadvertently have exacerbated some social problems in the country.

The two-day conference themed ‘’Education and Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria’’, held at the Needs Assessment Auditorium brought together scholars and stakeholders in the field of Sociology across the country, to deliberate on how to tackle the myriad of social problems facing the country through education.

Chairman, Local Organizing Committee of the conference, Prof. Chinyere Nwajiuba in a group photograph with some of the participants

 The National President of ASEN, Prof. Matthew Nshim Sule, while presenting his address, affirmed that the choice of the theme is anchored on the association’s desire to contribute to the ongoing national conversation on the expected mitigation on the lingering social problems confronting the Nigerian State. He stressed that the myriad of social problems plaguing Nigeria have been responsible for its present state of underdevelopment, calling for all hands to be on deck to remedy the ugly situation.

National President, ASEN, Prof. Matthew Sule addressing the participants

 Prof. Sule opined that the beginning of an attempt to resolving the problems rests more on subjecting the issues to empirical as well as analytical researches, adding that as Sociologists of Education, the onus lies on them to address those issues that constitute social problems confronting education in Nigeria such as examination malpractice, rape, drug addiction, cultism, terrorism and banditry etc.

 

The Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, Dr. Francisca Ogba, represented by the immediate past Dean, Prof. Rosemary Igbo, in her welcome address eulogised the Management of AE-FUNAI for their support in making the conference a reality, hoping that the participants will come up with resolutions that will be useful to the University, the country and the world generally.

While declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Elom, noted that the theme of the conference ‘’Education and Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria’’ is very apt and is coming at a critical time when the nation is faced with array of socio-economic challenges ranging from terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, rising unemployment and poverty and other problems that have almost grounded our nation.

VC, Prof. Sunday Elom, declaring the conference open

 He also stated that the 21st century, apart from its globalized economic nature, is also a century of interrelatedness and interdependency, adding that education remains critical to the attainment of sustainable development and an antidote to socio-economic problems because of its regenerative nature.

 

Continuing the Vice-Chancellor stated that there is need for the youth to be properly trained to be self-reliant or gainfully employed in productive ventures, as many of them may resort to crimes and criminality as being witnessed in different parts of Nigeria today, urging the nation to rethink and retool our education to avert future catastrophe.

He equally submitted that as a University, they are seriously committed to academic excellence geared towards equipping our students with the relevant skills and mental capacity to be productive, employable and globally-competitive on graduation, affirming that his administration will focus on sustaining, consolidating and expanding the achievement of his predecessors in pursuance of the overall vision of the University.

While delivering his keynote speech, Prof. Martin Ikechukwu Ifeanocho, maintained that education remains the most veritable instrument for engineering development in any society. Noting that it is that complex process which enables individuals or group of people acquire knowledge, mental confidence and behavioural patterns to function effectively as individuals or members of a society.

Prof. Martin Ikechukwu Ifeanocho delivering the keynote speech at the conference

 He pointed out that the goal of education is to liberate man from the vicissitude of nature, natural problems and human made problems, adding that with the characteristics of education and sociology as a course, it aims to regularize the human thoughts and behavioural pattern of individuals.

 

Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman of the Occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of Coal City University, Prof. Afam Icha-Ituma, thanked the organisers of the conference and the management of AE-FUNAI for their efforts in making the event a reality, adding that the theme of the conference is timely and appropriate as Nigeria is confronted with an array of social problems, including poverty, terrorism, high level of unemployment, tribal conflict, violence among others.

Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Afam Icha-Ituma speaking at the event

 He added that education is critical to the development of the nation, stressing that without quality education, the challenges posed by theses social issues cannot be resolved, reiterating that for us to address our social problems in Nigeria and to become globally competitive, we must ensure that the populace are educated to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and creative problem solvers.

He anticipated that the conference will go a long way to stimulate relevant researches and put forward credible template for solving social reforms in Nigeria.

VC, Prof. Sunday Elom being presented with an award of excellence by the immediate past president of ASEN, Emeritus Prof. Uche Azikiwe

 

Highlights of the event were tree planting by participants to support of the Campus-Green Initiative of the University and award of honour to four distinguished Nigerians; Vice-Chancellor, AE-FUNAI, Prof. Sunday Elom, immediate past Vice-Chancellor, AE-FUNAI, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba,             Vice-Chancellor, Coal City University, Prof. Afam Icha-Itumah and the Commissioner for Education, Ebonyi State, Dr. Sunday Nwangele for their excellent service to the development of education in the country.