School clubs now mere social gatherings than problem solvers – AEI Director

L-R: Chairman of the occasion, Mr Francis Origa; the Chairman of Alimosho Local Government Area, Mr Jelili Sulaimon; the Executive Director of the Academic Excellence Initiative (AEI), Mr Faheed Olajide and a guest lecturer, Mr Yusuf Aweda at the 2019 Annual Academic Excellence Award/Scholars' Day organised by the AEI in Lagos

The Executive Director of the Academic Excellence Initiative (AEI), Mr Faheed Olajide has expressed concerns that existing school clubs have become mere social gatherings in most schools and therefore not addressing academic challenges as stipulated.

He said this over the weekend while delivering his opening speech at the 2019 Annual Academic Excellence Award/Scholars’ Day organised by the non-governmental organisation in the Egbeda area of Lagos over the weekend.

With the theme “Digital Transformation Trends in Education,” the event featured lectures and a technology integrated competition among secondary school students.

School clubs such as the debating societies, the JETS Club, the Press Club and anti-drug club are part of co-curricular activities infused into the school system in Nigeria to increase access to knowledge beyond the classroom.

Olajide advocated the need for a new vision and drive towards academic excellence in the education sector. While acknowledging existing efforts, he identified how his organisation was bridging the gap using technology.

“It is now an established fact that the world is already a global village through digital transformation,” he said.

“We’ve found out that with this change, the education sector in Nigeria has also witnessed a lot of technological inputs.”

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He acknowledged the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede in this respect with the institution of the computer-based test for candidates writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

Speaking further, he added that many students were found to be lagging behind with the necessary computer skills needed and the AEI have had to run free training in four states.

“AEI organised a Pre-UTME Computer Based Tests (CBT) on a free of charge basis in four States involving over a thousand students.

“From the results and observations, it is sad that many students are yet to be well acquainted with the use of computers and by extension Computer Based tests which severely impacted their performances” Olajide added.

In his welcome address, Executive Chairman of Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, Jelili Sulaimon stated that the AEI’s actions were worthy of emulation because virtually everything has been digitised.

“Gone are those where typing skills were elevated but nowadays computer and cyber security skill are essential.

“We are supporting this initiative because it will add a lot of value to Alimosho local government area and the educational institution within,” he said.

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Mr Sulaimon however urged parents to encourage their kids to embrace computer knowledge because it will still be relevant in decades to come.

Also speaking, the chairman of the occasion, Mr Francis Origa identified with the humanitarianism investments of the AEI as something worth investing on.

“They are selling nothing other than academic excellence to the leaders of tomorrow to better the future of our nation,” Origa acknowledged.

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