Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Omenugha, Anambra Commissioner to Fly Nigeria’s Flag in Abu Dhabi Educational Fair


By James Eze (eziokwubundu@gmail.com)

The Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Prof Kate Omenugha’s titanic efforts to ensure that Anambra teachers adopt modern technology in imparting knowledge to children have finally earned her an international recognition as she filed out today to fly Nigeria’s flag at t...his year’s edition of the BETT Technology Education Fair in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Prof Omenugha was selected as one of the over 100 resource persons that would speak at this global event that is expected to attract participants from over twenty two countries of the world.

The two day event which started today holds under the theme – “Fostering a Culture of Entrepreneurship to Initiate Leadership and Self Employability.” Prof Omenugha is expected to speak on the topic “Entrepreneurship Education in the Local Context,” in a manner that will put up the Anambra experience as one of the many benchmarks from across the world.

Speaking shortly before she left for Abu Dhabi, Prof Omenugha recalled the massive personal attacks and criticisms that trailed her efforts to ensure that teachers in the state adopted the One-Teacher-one-Laptop policy of the Obiano administration and stated that the string of recognition that has followed her efforts would appear to have vindicated the policy.

Said she: “I feel vindicated because it is not easy to effect a change in people and bring them out from where they were to the fore front. There’s bound to be resistance, but we are pushing hard and I’m sure that by the end of this year, we will have more stories to tell about our impact in technology.”

Prof Omenugha also reiterated her belief in the effectiveness of the Obiano educational policy in Anambra State, describing it as being on the right track. According to her, “His Excellency has promised our school children that they would be given palmtops in 2018 and we are already working on it. So, we need all the support that we can get to make these things happen because we are trying to deliver on the mandate.”

Recalling how her journey to the BETT Technology Education Fair in Abu Dhabi began, Prof Omenugha said it started with an invitation by Microsoft to deliver a lecture to teachers in Lagos State on the topic; “Using Technology in Education: The Anambra State Experience,” sometime last year.

“Honestly, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me because when I finished speaking, there was a standing ovation. I told them our story here in Anambra State, about our struggle with our teachers, about the efforts I was making, teaching the teachers to use laptops, and it was a wonderful experience. I kept wondering when Nigeria would get there, where technology is used in education. Surprisingly, last year too, I got a phone call from someone in the U.K who said I was being invited to Abu Dhabi to speak to about twenty-two countries on Entrepreneurship Education in the Local Context,” she narrated.

It would be recalled that Prof Omenugha’s bold attempts to push for reforms in the educational sector in Anambra State had met with a stiff resistance earlier on from people who seemed averse to change. But the astute professor of Mass Communication had pushed on and made her efforts noticeable to important institutions across the world.

It must also be remembered that Omenugha sits atop a Ministry that was instrumental to the historic offshore training of 23 vocational school teachers in Singapore by the Anambra State Government as well as an educational system that has continued to produce exceptional students and pupils that have represented Nigeria in World School Debate Championships.

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