Rector tasks govts on free data for students to exploration learning, digital-entrepreneur

The Rector of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Prof. Austin Nweze, has tasked Federal and state governments on free data to help students drive digital explorative learning and digital-entrepreneurship.

Austin made the call on Thursday while delivering a paper titled: “Digital Economy and Sustainable Development: Challenges and Prospects from South-East, Nigeria” at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Faculty of Management Sciences Annual International Conference 2023.


The conference is themed: “Digitalisation of Educational System through Entrepreneurship and Business models for Sustainable Economy: A Practical Approach.”

Nweze, who was presented by his Deputy, Dr Patrick Ejim, said that providing free data (or wifi services) in strategic places especially in institutions and public places where youths gather remained a vital demand in building the nation’s digital pursuit.


“We need to also localize digital learning to get more of our people to access learning on soft skill digitally and create digital hubs in communities and council areas where digital apprenticeship can be possible.

“We must reorganise our digital policy to provide opportunities that can take care of modern necessities in our changing environment,” he said.

A keynote speaker, Mr Abel Nwobodo, Managing Director of Phenomenal Energy Ltd, said that adopting digital education for entrepreneurship growth had a lot of benefits and would create a world of unending opportunities.

Nwobodo said that educational institution should remodel the way of learning by driving learning digitally to meet hundreds of thousands of people rather than the few people in a classroom.

“We can also use digital learning or education to spark positive innovation and competition among young minds, if well harnessed,” he said.

Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of ESUT, Prof. Aloysius Okolie, said that the institution was remodeling its idea of education towards practical skills; thus, experts in the town will come, teach and share their daily experiences with students in the institution.

Okolie also said that the institution was working at full automation of all it engagements, especially putting courses and classrooms online and going full digitalisation for people to subscribe and learn.

“As an institution, we want to bring the town (local experts) and gown (institution) together and we will work out practical ways of creating skills, employment and self-relience for our teeming youths,” he said.

The vice-chancellor also lauded the former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, for fixing the power challenge in the university as well as helped to ensure the institution get its power supply from a steady power sub-station within Enugu.

In a welcome address, the Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, ESUT, Prof Chioma Oleka, said that the conference was an opportunity to learn, grow and shape the future of education in this digital age.

Oleka said that together (scholars and stakeholders) would build sustainable economic development through entrepreneurship and digitalised education.

“Today marks a double-fold celebration in this great Faculty: firstly my one-year in office as the first female Dean of our Great Faculty since its establishment in 1980; secondly, and most importantly, the commencement of this year’s annual international conference.

“The theme of the conference is particularly timely as it explores the practical aspect of digitalising education and using entrepreneurship as a catalyst for economic sustainability,” she said.

The Chairman of the occasion and a paper presenter, Chief Kingsley Eze, urged ESUT management, Enugu State and Federal Governments to be intentional and practical on moving into the digital world by making necessary investment in digitalisation of learning.

Eze, who is the CEO of Tenece Group of Company, urged the institution and government to take advantage of international digital linkages and collaborations for the betterment of the youths and equipping them for the international labour market.

“We must find a way to get those with digital skills and incorporate them fully into the vision of the institution and state as the world is evolving very fast by the powerful impact of digital technology,” he noted.

The occasion featured the cutting of the conference cake and many more paper presentations.

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