Saving our schools from moral decadence in the Internet Age (1)


Ayobami Salami

The threats against our value system is legion: disrespect for dignity of labour, get-rich-quick syndrome, rape and other forms of sexual licentiousness, fraud/Yahoo Yahoo, examination malpractice, cultism, indecent dressing, etc. Before the spread of the digital media, most of these and other related vices had been with us. But the expansion of the social platforms has made them more intriguing to handle. All of the vices, like the good things, are massively online, meaning that it is easier for the learners to imbibe them with little or nothing their parents can do.

The digital age is theirs, not ours. It does not discriminate, it does not hide. Things that our culture and tradition used expose to the young systematically are made open to whoever cares to click.

Curiously enough, the students (our children) know what we don’t know, they do not need to be taught. That is why when you buy a phone today, you may end up not mastering up to 25 percent of its features no matter how long you use it. Yet, it takes your children little or no time before they master every nook and cranny of the device. How then do you reconcile/control the values and vices that the digital technology massively represents? The tendency is for one to feel helpless at times. I will come back to how I believe we can go around the behemoth.

The penetration of the entertainment industry and its allures is also compounding the moral crisis we face in schools. The industry, like the Internet, is addictive. Of course, a lot of the entertainment products are now transmitted online, giving unfettered access to all and sundry, including the youth. And based on the rapid growth the sector is experiencing, many of them are falling for its allures even from a distance or at the expense of other values they should imbibe. The time many of them should spend reading, do their homework and advance their knowledge, they are more ‘wired’ to listen to music or watch musical videos. With little or no talent, many students want to be musicians nowadays – no matter what they are studying even if in higher institutions. One is not saying that those who are talented should not be encouraged to develop it, or that they should not be encouraged to discover such. Also, we should not blindly impose careers on them. No, but I am saying there is a problem in a situation almost every pupil wants to become a musician, comedian or footballer. Apart from the uncertainties waiting in the future, it means that such students will not take their studies seriously.

As a result, the reading culture is very poor. We genuinely lament that many of our schools lack standard libraries. Yet, where there are, what is the disposition of the students to reading? Unfortunately, the issue of the friendly demon called the Internet comes in again. The learners who are supposed to be studious, reading to complement what the teachers are imparting are trapped either by television or the new media. This is apart from the fact that they are also imbibing some of the immoral tendencies that entertainment culture flaunts.

Another aspect of the dilemma is that our students now choose their mentors and heroes from vanity sectors. ‘Vanity’ here does not necessarily indicate that any particular sector is vain or unworthy, but people who used to be traditionally societal idols and heroes do not appeal to the majority of our youths anymore. How many of them see models in accomplished accountants, lawyers, writers, doctors etc. the way we used to? Rather, some musicians, athletes and, God forbid, social misfits who command money with questionable sources are their heroes. In other words, values are down when it comes to what inspires many of them.

But this is not to say the blame is entirely that of our children and youths. Indeed, like the prevertebral k-legged man carrying a load in a zigzag or slanted manner, saying people should watch his legs before they blame him, we the elders are directly and indirectly the architects of the dilemmas. Our culture used to provide efficient and long-lasting checks and balances but we have failed to inculcate it into our children. Nigeria’s development has largely and foolishly been at the expense of our culture, which is getting eroded too fast. For anyone culturally brought up, respect for elders is given. He or she knows what to say or do in the public and is scared of the consequence of not handling such appropriately. In Yorubaland, for example, the Omoluwabi culture ought to be sacrosanct but we have failed to transfer it into our educational system. As we pursue western culture and the new religions, we throw the baby away alongside the bathwater. So, the young ones are bound to think and grow astray because we have denied them the vital values of cultural orientation. Curiously, the social media is filling the gap, though in an ambivalent and almost uncontrollable way.

Consider the issue of sexual escapades among the young. There was a time our culture emphasized the need to remain virgin until marriage. Reservation and restraint were then the order of the day because of the anathema that awaited those who failed to keep themselves (girls especially). But, right now, we don’t even know what we believe or hold in terms of pre-marital sex. It is in the midst of this oral dilemma that we are bringing up the next generations.

Some of the threatened values are not directly about morality. They are academic or intellectual. One of the crises our education is facing nowadays, for instance, is that many Nigerian graduates cannot speak correct English. We say they are not marketable, and we moan that they cannot write application letters correctly. Truly speaking, it is a big problem because no matter how much content has been stuffed in you, if you cannot communicate your idea effectively, you are not far from being illiterate. If a graduate can manifest such a problem, you can imagine what obtains at the secondary school level. Well, it is the faulty foundation from the primary and secondary schools that becomes the burden in the tertiary institution because language is a systematic phenomenon. The point I am making here is that there is a value crisis in our educational institutions as far as the mastery of English, which is the language of unity, education, business and other relations, is concerned. Ironically, there are a lot of online resources that can help the old and young in terms of the need to always improve on our spoken and written English (and also other useful languages such as French, German, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa etc.) But only too few people are drawn to such resources.

Each of these vices is so rampant that one is supposed to treat them one by one, break it down and produce a thesis on it. But I have brought them together because I am sure we all know they bedevil our schools and our youths in general. Cultism used to be identified with universities and other higher institutions alone, but it has crept into secondary schools. It shouldn’t be too much a surprise because in a school where you have cultist teachers or non-academic staff, infiltration among students is a possibility. This is apart from the fact that some boys and girls are enticed by money while others cannot control the tendency or adventures, just as there are various cult groups operating in the larger society. As a matter of fact, it is difficult it is very difficult to draw a line among cultists, kidnappers, bandits, insurgents, armed robbers and ritual killers.

Oyo govt, Tech varsity for partnership on biometric machine, CBT centre


Oyo State Government and the Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan, have initiated a partnership that will see the outside community benefiting from some of the institution’s technological facilities.

Some of the facilities are the varsity’s high-capacity server, biometric machines and its entrepreneurship and vocational centre located at Ajoda.

This is one of the highlights of an official visit of the Commissioner for Education and Technology, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin. He visited the university last Thursday.

Sangodoyin, who also studied Computer Science, was received by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayobami Salami and other principal officers that included the Registrar, Mrs. Olayinka Balogun, and the Bursar, Mr. Kehinde Olatokun.

Sangodoyin was conducted round facilities on the main campus on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, hostel and the varsity’s Academy (primary and secondary schools) as well as the entrepreneurship and vocational centre at Ajoda, on Ibadan-Ife road.

With other government officials, including the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Aminat Atere, in his entourage, he commended the varsity management for introducing the biometric machine for students and staff attendance monitoring, saying the government would work with Tech-U in effecting same in its public schools.

The VC welcomed the idea and said Tech-U was prepared for the engagement.

“The biometric machine has been very effective in this university. Apart from helping to monitor students’ attendance in classes, it also serves as the staff register, attendance, and punctuality monitoring. We all know what people do with the traditional handwritten attendance method. You can write for me, I can sign for you. But this wonderful machine helps us to eliminate that. It is, of course, also helping us to impart in our students a sense of punctuality and responsibility,” Prof. Salami said.

The commissioner, who tested the machine to ensure its viability, also said: “This is good, and we will like to introduce it to our schools too. The educational system in Oyo State is going through a lot of reformation and improvement. We will also like to monitor our teachers and students accordingly. It is good that, as the VC said, if you are not registered, if you press the machine it won’t identify your finger.”

He applauded the management for the functionality of its smart boards and the capacity of its server which, according to the Head of the Information and Communications Technology, Mr. Emmanuel Olorunnisola, has the highest capacity among those of other universities in Nigeria.

“It is the best in terms of capacity, performance, speed, and space,” Olorunnisola said, adding that it could power between 20 and 25,000 computers at a time.

On this, the commissioner said Oyo State would be glad to make Tech-U a training and a CBT centre.

The commissioner also visited the faculties of Engineering and Technology; Natural and Applied Sciences and Language Studies, with deans such as Professors Olufemi Koya, Olajide Oke and Suraju Ajadi hosting him.

He was also at the Central Workshop/Laboratory nearing completion, where he engaged the engineers and supervisors on standards and completion schedule; newly completed hostels as well as the institution’s farms.

Sangodoyin interacted with students inside one of the lecture theatres, where he described the university’s anthem, as sung by the students, as one of the best he had ever listened to.

First Technical University appoints Registrar


The First Technical University has announced the appointment of the first substantive Registrar for the University in the person of Olayinka Balogun.

The new Registrar hails from Igboora in Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of Oyo Central Senatorial District, Oyo State.

Until her appointment, Balogun was on sabbatical leave at Tech-U as the Deputy Registrar/Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office.

She had, before, been Principal Assistant Registrar at the University of Ibadan. As the Principal Assistant Registrar at UI, Balogun was the Head, Senate Unit of the Academic Division of the Registry.

She also previously worked as Principal Assistant Registrar and Administrative Officer at the university. Balogun holds an M. A. (Peace and Conflict Studies) from the University of Ibadan as well as Masters in Industrial and Labour Relations from the same institution.

A thorough-bred administrator with 19 years of working experience, she is a professional who always strives for positive results through the application of adaptability, leadership and problem-solving skills. Such interpersonal and leadership strength, which she displayed in her previous schedules, enabled her to optimize performance.

Balogun possesses good communication proficiency in English language and thrives in high pressure and fast-paced situations.

She is desirous of deploying these traits in motivating colleagues to fully buy into the vision and mission of the First Technical University, Ibadan.

Balogun has attended numerous conferences within and outside Nigeria. Among others, she was in Dubai, UAE for the “Employee Relations Best Practices” conference in 2019; in Durban, South Africa for Digitised Academic Administration (2018); and Nottingham University, UK for the Association of University Administrators Conference in 2015.

Balogun, who has received various commendations for excellent performances on different occasions, is passionate about youth mentoring, counseling and hospital volunteering.

First Technical University appoints Olayinka Balogun as Registrar


The First Technical University has announced the appointment of the first substantive Registrar for the University in the person of Olayinka Balogun. Mrs. Balogun hails from Igboora, in Ibarapa Central Local Government, Oyo Central Senatorial District, Oyo State.

Until her appointment, Mrs. Balogun was on sabbatical leave at Tech-U as the Deputy Registrar/Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office. She had, before, been Principal Assistant Registrar at the University of Ibadan.

As the Principal Assistant Registrar at UI, Balogun was the Head, Senate Unit of the Academic Division of the Registry. She also previously worked as Principal Assistant Registrar and Administrative Officer at the university.

Balogun holds an M. A. (Peace and Conflict Studies) from the University of Ibadan as well as Masters in Industrial and Labour Relations (MLR) from the same institution.

A thorough-bred administrator with nineteen (19) years of working experience, she is a professional who always strives for positive results through the application of adaptability, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Such interpersonal and leadership strength, which she displayed in her previous schedules, enabled her to optimize performance. Balogun possesses good communication proficiency in English language and she thrives in high pressure and fast-paced situations. She is desirous of deploying these traits in motivating colleagues to fully buy into the vision and mission of the First Technical University, Ibadan.

Balogun has attended numerous conferences within and outside Nigeria. Among others, she was in Dubai, UAE, for the ‘Employee Relations Best Practices’ conference in 2019; in Durban, South Africa for Digitised Academic Administration (2018); Nottingham University, UK, for the Association of University Administrators Conference in 2015.

Balogun, who has received various commendations for excellent performances on different occasions, is passionate about youth mentoring, counseling and hospital volunteering.

New Tech-U Students Tasked on Combining Knowledge and Skills


Newly admitted students of the First Technical University, Ibadan, have been advised to make good use of the opportunities available to them and to equally make good use of the skills to be acquired as students of the University.

Giving this advice during the two-week orientation programme for the students, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami stated, “Over the last two sessions, the First Technical University, Ibadan has carved a niche for itself by training students to combine intellectual advancement with the development of innate and acquired technical and vocational competencies in diverse work areas. The blend of theoretical and practical experience ahead of you promises to be exciting and you will get an even deeper level of satisfaction when you take what you have learned in the classroom to the world”.

The Dean, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, Professor Olajide Oke also urged the students to be determined and remember why they came to the University in the first place. “In your secondary schools, you didn’t do applied sciences but here, you will see how to apply the sciences to other areas of study. Don’t be scared but be prepared to study very well”, he added.

Similarly, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Olawale Ajibola, who reminded the students that they were the ambassadors of their families, pointing out that each student, would decide what he or she would want to graduate with.

While explaining the synergy between the Faculties of Science and Technology, Ajibola said “Faculty of Engineering and Technology is where innovation happens but without science, there is no innovation. We are going to work together”.

Davies Carpenter, a Digital Marketer and Creative Writer, enlightened the fresh students on the opportunities that were available for harness on the internet, saying “Internet changes everything. Now in five days, you can register your company. There are so many things you can do; all you need is a developed brain. You need skills. You also need to note that the top job in the world today is that of a Data Analyst. These are the technological skills that are being given to you at Tech-U”.

Charging the students further, Carpenter said, “Make the internet far more rewarding than gossip. In the world today, you can create opportunities from your bedroom. I create incredible opportunities. Professional networking apps will not solve all your problems but they will broaden your horizon and secure you bags of experience before you graduate and provide you with platforms as entrepreneurs. You are in Tech-U, so get all the skills you can”.

Mr. Niyi Adetoro, the Training Coordinator of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Samonda, Ibadan oversaw a session on Habits of a Successful Entrepreneur.

Describing an entrepreneur as someone who is ready to do what it takes to solve a problem so that people would buy into his or her idea, Adetoro stated that the entrepreneur’s target is profit.

He, therefore, encouraged them to have a growth mind set. “Think out of the box, don’t think anything is impossible. And remember, a successful entrepreneur creates vision but to do that, you need to stay focused; because without focus, there won’t be any accomplishment”, he stated.

In his presentation, the Director of the Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training, Dr. Olugbenga Fayomi counselled the students not to rely on degree certificates.

He explained, “Don’t be satisfied with just obtaining degrees. Functional education is what will make people call you and pay you money for solving their problems. Start to determine what you will do with the skills you learn here”.

Tech-U VC Charges New Students To “Be Open To Learning”


Newly admitted students of Nigeria’s premier technical university, First Technical University, (Tech-U), Ibadan, have been charged to be open to learning in order to aid their transformation into innovators and entrepreneurs.

The charge was given by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami, while addressing the students during the recent orientation programme for freshmen. ‘Over the last two sessions, the First Technical University, Ibadan, has carved a niche for itself by training students to combine intellectual advancement with the development of innate and acquired technical and vocational competencies in diverse work areas”, the Vice-Chancellor averred.

While noting that a formidable obstacle to Nigeria’s development is the large number of graduates who have certificates without skill, Professor Salami disclosed that Tech-U will produce graduates who will fill the skill gaps in the industry. He pointed out that the University focuses on knowledge on the one hand and skills on the other hand.

The Vice-Chancellor also pointed out that some students in the University already have their own startups and are on their way to becoming full-fledged entrepreneurs. When he informed the students that they will undergo vocational trainings and be certified in such vocations, Professor Salami said “This is a University with a potential I have not seen in any university. No university has the kind of potential Tech-U has demonstrated. We have about 18 different vocations that you can choose from”. He also made it known that the students’ courses will include 60% theory and 40% practical and hands on training during their stay in the University.

The University’s Director of General Administration, Mr. Murtala Agbaje who led them through the institution’s administrative processes urged the students to work towards making themselves outstanding. “Each and every one has a talent and a mission. Your goal can be achieved through the First Technical University, you are not in the wrong place”, he said.

In the course of the second phase of the orientation programme, which bordered on entrepreneurship, Dr. Olugbenga Fayomi, the Director of the University’s Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training, encouraged the freshmen to get skilled in order to be relevant to the environment. “Functional education is what will make people call you and pay you for solving their problems. Industrialists and governments are looking for people with uncommon knowledge; so start to determine what to do with the skills you learn here”.

Speaking further, Dr. Fayomi said “there must be something that must set you apart from the crowd. First Class Honours may not be enough. Please develop yourselves and take advantage of opportunities. Remember jobs are looking for some people while some people are looking for jobs”.

Mr. Niyi Adetoro, of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Samonda, Ibadan, spoke on the habits of successful entrepreneurs. He urged them to be ready to take responsibility and embrace continuous learning. He also encouraged them to manage their time skillfully and take calculated risks.

We’ll not produce graduates without skills, Tech-U assures as freshmen undergo orientation


FRESH students of Nigeria’s premier technical university, the First Technical University, Ibadan, have been told that the university would not produce graduates without skills.

This was made known to the new students by the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Dr Olawale Ajibola, during their orientation, held at the institution.

While explaining the role of the university’s Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TVET) and why it was set up, Ajibola said: “we don’t want to produce graduates that will not have a single skill.”

He went on to state that: “We have some of our students who have registered companies and are making money. An additional certificate in vocational training with your Bachelor of Science Bachelor of Engineering is great gain. The universities we call great don’t offer this opportunity.”

Earlier in his speech, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami announced to the students that: “in line with our commitment to producing market-ready graduates of international standards, that are not just knowledgeable, but also sound in terms of skills, you will undergo training in at least one vocation before you graduate.”

“And to position you for international opportunities and broaden your horizons as entrepreneurs, you will mandatorily acquire and get certification in a second foreign language.”

Speaking on the potential the university has already demonstrated in less than two years of commencing academic activities, the Vice-Chancellor said: “in less than two years, Tech-U has registered its first patent. This is a university with a potential I haven’t seen in any university. No university has the kind of potential Tech-U has demonstrated.”

Tony Ajah, a business growth strategist, who also delivered an address, observed that the largest markets are found through innovative means.

He, therefore, urged the students to think of themselves as problem solvers who go out to solve problems using innovative techniques, adding that that the biggest challenge being faced by young people is ignorance.

Ajah, therefore, urged them to develop the attitude of an entrepreneur, saying that: “See every problem as an opportunity and remember that entrepreneurship is a mindset.”

Giving tips on time management, Professor Iyiola Tella, the Director of Tech-U’s Institute for Sustainable Development, averred that: “for dreams to be realised, conscious steps must be taken.”

Using the salami technique which has been applied in different facets of life to explain problem-solving, Professor Tella pointed out that: “in solving big problems, breaking them into smaller bits will make them easier to solve. It involves taking consistent right steps towards a goal.”

Stating that a planned day goes better, he urged the newly admitted students to have action plans, noting that some things are urgent and not important, while there are things that are important but not urgent.

He, therefore, charged them, to be honest with themselves in order to be able to manage their time.

The university’s Deputy Librarian, Dr Rahman Akinbode also urged the students to make use of the university’s library facilities in order to achieve excellent results.

He posited: “The library is the backbone of any university and the library has lots of resources; including electronic and online resources.”

Be open to learning, Tech-U VC charges new students


Newly admitted students of first Technical University, (Tech-U), Ibadan, have been charged to be open to learning in order to aid their transformation into innovators and entrepreneurs.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayobami Salami, gave the charge while addressing the students during the recent orientation programme for freshmen. Noting that a formidable obstacle to Nigeria’s development is a large number of graduates who have certificates without skill, Salami assured that the university would produce graduates who will fill the skill gaps in the industry. He pointed out that the university focuses on knowledge on the one hand and skills on the other hand.

He said: “Over the last two sessions, the university has carved a niche for itself by training students to combine intellectual advancement with the development of innate and acquired technical and vocational competencies in diverse work areas.”He also said that some students of the school already have their own startups and are on their way to becoming full-fledged entrepreneurs. “This is a university with a potential I have not seen in any university. No university has the kind of potential we have demonstrated. We have about 18 different vocations that you can choose from”.

He further informed the freshmen that their courses would consist of 60 per cent theory and 40 per cent practical and hands on training during their stay in the school.

Director of General Administration, Mr. Murtala Agbaje, who led the new students through the institution’s administrative processes, urged them to work towards making themselves outstanding. “Each and every one has a talent and a mission. Your goal can be achieved through the First Technical University, you are not in the wrong place,” he said.

On the second phase of the orientation programme, which bordered on entrepreneurship, Director, Centre for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training, Dr. Olugbenga Fayomi, encouraged the freshmen to get skilled in order to be relevant to the environment.

“Functional education is what will make people call you and pay you for solving their problems. Industrialists and governments are looking for people with uncommon knowledge; so start to determine what to do with the skills you learn here.

“There must be something that must set you apart from the crowd. First Class Honours may not be enough. Please develop yourselves and take advantage of opportunities. Remember jobs are looking for some people while some people are looking for jobs,” he said.

Tech-U Announces Resumption Date


The Management of Tech-U, Nigeria’s premier technical university, announced in a statement that, newly admitted students are expected to come into residence on Sunday 8th December, 2018 ahead of the orientation programme which is scheduled to commence on Monday, 9th December and run till December 20, 2019.

Returning students are expected back on campus by January 5, 2020.

According to the statement by Media Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Wole Adejumo, registration for courses will commence on 18th December, 2019 while lectures will commence on Monday 6th January, 2020.

TECH-U SIGNS COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENT WITH GIRNE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, CYPRUS


In furtherance of its goal to internationalize its programmes and produce highly competent graduates, Nigeria’s premier technical university, First Technical University, Ibadan, has signed a collaborative degree programme agreement with Girne American University in Cyprus.

With this collaboration, interested undergraduates now have the choice of spending their first three or four years in Tech-U, depending on the course being studied, and thereafter proceed to Cyprus to complete their degree programmes in GAU.

There is also the “top-up” agreement through which students can complete their courses at Tech-U and apply to complete their Master’s degrees in GAU. Located in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus, GAU, is Cyprus’ top-ranked University noted for its demonstrable leadership in science, technology and innovation. The programme is approved and coordinated by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

While speaking at the signing of the collaboration, Dr Serhat Akpinar, the Chancellor of the Cyprus-based University expressed his delight at the partnership and pledged his unwavering commitment to the success of the programme, which would also involve partnership in research and faculty members’ exchange.

Present at the ceremony which held in Girne, Cyprus, were the representatives of partner institutions and the Director of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, NUC, Mrs Constance Goddy-Nnadi, who also represented the Commission’s Executive Secretary.
Mrs Goddy-Nnadi agreed that the union will promote capacity-building and quality knowledge acquisition by Nigerian lecturers and students.

Tech-U’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami, affirmed that the partnership is in line with Tech-U’s vision of producing students who will not only change the diminishing job equation but also become key players within the national and international spaces.

The agreement with GAU is coming a year after Tech-U signed an MOU on exchange programmes with Texas Technical University, USA.