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Friday, September 09, 2005

IT education must match with practicals – Alao

EXECUTIVE Director, Nigeria Online Limited, Mr. Olaleye Alao, has said that theoretical aspect of Information Technology (IT) education in the country must be matched with adequate hands-on practicals to properly empower the nation’s teeming undergraduates for the evolving 21st century.

Mr. Alao who also is the Treasurer of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), made the statement while delivering a paper on ‘Nigeria IT Industry: Undergraduate Empowerment’ to mark the firstNorth Central zonal workshop organized by the National Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS) in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The theme of the two-day workshop was Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for National Economic Empowerment Development (ICT4NEED).

Mr. Alao advised members of the NACOSS to ensure they are well empowered for the labour world and called for a change in the nation’s education system towards making this a reality, especially in marrying theories with adequate practicals.

“Practical aspect is very essential in order to complement theory,” he declared.

According to him, the university authorities could help empower undergraduates by collaborating with international bodies responsible for IT certifications through incorporating professional courses in the nation’s school curriculum.

He stressed that the university education programme needs to be revived to meet up with the global standard so as to suit the current trend in the IT industry, adding there should be upgrading of hardware and software within the school environment to enable the students to be current.

Good environment and computer laboratory, probably devoid of strike and disruption of any sort, he said, would help in achieving this goal of empowering undergraduates appropriately.

He also called on students to remain courageous in developing their own software initiatives to suit their area of interest thereby creating self-employed atmosphere, despite the state of the country.

Industrial training on their area of specialization, Mr. Alao said, is very vital and could be facilitated by the existing regulatory bodies being involved on how the undergraduates could be absorbed for IT training in their specific programmes.

For him, Internet facilities should also be provided alongside IT training to make the nation’s undergraduates competitive at the global circle while competitions would help in identifying the best brains locally.

“Blue-chip companies should employ some of the best brains in other to encourage them,” he said.

Opportunities, Mr. Alao said, abound in the IT industry for undergraduates including specialization on networking and telecommunications, systems administration, development and maintenance, website administration, database administration, and software development.

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