WICE Advocates Digital Learning For Women In Education

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Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) in Nigeria and other stakeholders went to class recently to learn innovative ways to leverage technology and digital tools in teacher education.

The occasion was the 27th national conference and workshop organised by the National Association of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) at Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri.

Intellectual fireworks erupted in the Jubilee Auditorium, as the keynote speaker, Prof. Eucharia Uloma Onyeka from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and a host of other erudite scholars dissected the theme of the conference, “Digital Learning Innovation in Teacher Education in Nigeria”.

While declaring the conference open, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle, said the conference provided a platform to brainstorm on ICT and described the theme as apt.

He explained that the 21st-century era was marked by several ICT innovations, which he said placed a higher demand on workers to enhance their ICT skills for quality service delivery.

Prof. Okwelle, who is also the Grand Patron of WICE, commended Colleges of Education for running a uniform scheme of work and condition of service, describing the body as a reflection of the passion and love that existed among staff in Colleges of Education in the country.

Lauding the role of women as nation-builders and pledged his unwavering support to the association, he also commended the federal government for upgrading the Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a full-fledged University of Education and expressed the hope that it would increase students’ access to degree programmes.

The National President of WICE, Prof. Theresa Okoli, said the choice of the theme: “Digital Learning Innovation in Teacher Education in Nigeria”, became imperative because of technological advancement and revolution in Information and Communication Technology in the world.

According to her, discussions at the conference would help in equipping WICE members and teacher educators on more efficient ICT usage.

Prof. Okoli explained that the paradigm shift to digitization was moving so fast that it has become expedient to move with the speed to remain relevant in the education sector.

She said a workshop was also held during the conference, which focused on the theme,: “ICT and Work Challenges in a Digital Economy”.

“I hope that all the presentations, arguments, discussions and deliberations will yield positive results that will address identified challenges. I charge all participants to tap from the facilitators’ wealth of knowledge. We are here to learn, relearn and unlearn,” she added.

Okoli, who is also the Provost of Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze, Anambra State, expressed joy at the creation of six new Colleges of Education, noting that more than five Colleges were on the verge of being commissioned and thanked the Executive Secretary of NCCE for his pragmatic leadership that has enhanced the pedigree of Colleges of Education in the country.

The Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Provost of Imo State College of Education, Ihitte Uboma, Dr Nwachukwu Chinyere described the conference as symbolic in bringing women in academics from far and near together to discuss pertinent issues in the education sector.

Dr. Nwachukwu noted that women in academia have done lots of good research while assuring that presentations at the conference would be used to produce the 27th journal of WICE, a high-repute journal that would compare with international standards.

“We have throttled on the wheel of growth by the focal guide of our passion to deliver excellent educational services as well as present a platform to identify and proffer solutions to digital learning innovations and work challenges in a digital economy,” she added.

While welcoming participants to Alvan Ikoku College, the Provost, Dr. Stella Ngozi Lemchi, expressed gladness that the College was recently upgraded to a University of Education, noting that the College was hosting the WICE conference for the last time.

She recalled the milestone recorded by the institution since its establishment in 1963, saying the institution made an impressive mark in the context of girl child education, with over 80 per cent of the student population in the institution as women.

“This is not just data, it is a powerful statement about our dedication to empowering women through education. Our institution has been a beacon of hope for women seeking quality education, personal growth and professional development.

Dr. Lemchi described the national conference on digital learning as pertinent to the evolving educational landscape in the country, she added, “We are not just teaching subjects; we are preparing students for a world that is increasingly digital”.

Aside academic paper presentations, the association conferred awards of excellence on Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the First Lady of Imo State, Chioma Deborah Uzodimma, the Commissioner for Education, Imo State, Prof Johncliff Nwadike, Mr Innocent Okwudili Nwosu, the Director of Lovebite Foods and beverages Limited, producers of the delicious Lovebite bread, Prof B.C.E Mba, Provost, Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo, Dr Merry Ngozi Ukegbu of Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri, among others.

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