Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has said the administration is currently building 40 digital literacy centres across the state, calling it a big investment in the Kwara child to survive in the knowledge economy.
Speaking on Tuesday at the commissioning of an ICT Lab donated to the Government Secondary School (GSS), Ilorin by Huawei under its Youthhub Africa Initiative, Governor Abdulrazaq said the government is making deliberate efforts to raise a new generation of digital natives in the state.
He also said that digital literacy is centred among the 2014-2019 school infrastructural projects of the administration under the Universal Basic Education Commission-Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) interventions.
“In the next few years, everything we do will be ICT driven. It is therefore important for all of us to plan for the future. In a world where robots and artificial intelligence are fast taking up jobs hitherto held by humans. The best investment for the future is a deliberate investment in digital education.
“Our administration is seriously committed to this goal. At the moment, we are building at least 40 modern digital literacy centres in schools across the state. This is unprecedented in the history of Kwara State. We are also hosting a smart school donated to the state by the UBEC. However, that is a drop in the ocean compared to our needs to grow a new generation of digital natives.
“The ICT Lab we are launching today is a great boost to the efforts. It is a gift from Huawei to the Kwara child. It is the best investment in the future of our children. For me, it is a shining example of how conglomerates can partner with government to build sustainable future anchored on digital education.”
AbdulRazaq urged the authorities and students of the school to make good use of this multimillion naira facility.
The governor, who also promised to fix some facilities at the iconic GSS, directed an immediate supply of 100 units of furnitures to the school.
He commended Huawei for the ICT intervention, saying: “It is the best investment in the future of our children. For me, it is a shining example of how conglomerates can partner with the government to build a sustainable future anchored on digital education.
“Huawei is a leading telecoms giant in the world. With over two decades of operations in Nigeria, this gift speaks so highly of Huawei’s credibility and commitment to grow with the Nigerian people. I’m not surprised at the company doing this. This is because it has been a trustworthy partner working with various ICT players in building reliable telecoms infrastructure across Nigeria, and partnering with governments in ICT training for civil servants, students, and young graduates.
“We are grateful. Yet, we request Huawei to do more for the Kwara people, while encouraging others to follow this fine example of corporate social responsibility.”
For her part, Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development Hajia Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu said the facilities would go a long way to broaden the knowledge of students information technology.
“I want to seize this opportunity to appeal for the extension of the gesture to Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin designated for female exchange students. This will ensure that they are on the same learning pace. It is my belief that girl child should not be left out of the knowledge of ICT,” Kawu appealed.
National President of the GSS Ilorin Old Boys Association Engr Suleiman Alapansanpa said the facility would position students of the school to compete favourably with their peers around the world.
“It gladdens our hearts that the students of GSS Ilorin can now digitally communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage information, while teaching and learning via ICT, compared to the old system of chalkboards or whiteboards.
Commending the administration for its strides in education infrastructure across the state, Alapansanpa appealed to the governor to help in reviving the institution by giving prominence to its many decaying facilities.
Deputy Managing Director/CEO of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited Kelvin Yangyang explained that Huawei had developed various initiatives in building the talents and the future of Nigerian youths.
“The country’s strength is about its people and the country’s future is about its youths. That is why Huawei is helping in building young talents. In Nigeria, we have three major talent initiatives for students at various levels. We partnered with YouthHub Africa to help us build outstanding ICT lab Ilorin. Dear students, technology has become an incredible asset in every area of our life, ranging from education to entertainment in our personal life. This has provided technological opportunities to you. It is good assistance to enhance your studies. You can get answers to questions with just a click. From this point, you have access to the world right in your hand,” Yangyang said.
Rotimi Olawale, executive director of YouthHub Africa, urged the students to make judicious use of the facilities and work hard to become great in their fields.