Olivia University Pro-Chancellor, Paul Chukwuma, set to roll out skill training programs


Pro- chancellor of Olivia University, Bujumbura, Burundi is set to commence massive skill acquisition programs in Nigeria through his educational agency, Fides Et Ratio Academy.

The massive training program according Mr Paul Chukwuma is aimed to bridge the skill gap in the country.

Sir Paul Chukwuma made this known at a media parley with education correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to Chukwuma, who is a renowned educationist, there is an urgent need to anchor Nigeria’s education system on skill development instead of mere certificates.

“I discovered the basic issue we have in our educational system is that the educational system we were introduced to, and to a very large extent we still carry along with, is deficient in the key essential elements that every human being should think about, and that is skills.

“We prioritized paper qualifications over skills; everybody wants to be a PhD holder; everybody wants to be a professor, even when you cannot defend that title,” he said.

While saying that some education institutions in Europe have some of their technical departments headed by individuals without degrees but with skills, Chukwuma said Fides Et Ratio Academy was established to change the narrative by focusing on skill development.

“In 2006, Fides Et Ratio Academy was established as a training institute that will basically engage in fulfilling this mandate, which I have identified in my own little way while planning to also set up a higher institution of learning, and in 2020/2021, I was able to establish a private university, but it took off effectively in 2022, ” he said.

The first-class graduate of philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nssuka, who also boasts of another first-class degree in law, said he has begun setting up another university in his hometown in Anambra, which will also address the skills gap in the country.

Speaking on the planned skills training programme that is expected to kick off in a few days from now, Chukwuma, who was joined by a member of the House of Representatives, Afam Ogene, said Nigeria needs to leverage on Information and Communication Technology skills by harnessing the talents of its youth to address the challenges of the country.

“We have the best brains, people whose brains you can’t equate with anything but a computer, because of the kind of ingenuity we experienced that we see coming from the young people that get obliterated along the line simply because they have not been nurtured.

“I felt that it was important to begin in my own little way to bridge this gap that I have noticed. The gap between skill and theory, between practice and theory. You cannot do anything meaningful without practice,” he said.

While calling on the Nigerian media to push the agenda of ICT skills development in the country, Chukwuma linked the unemployment problem in the nation to the production of graduates without skills, even as he called for more synergy between institutions and industry.

“There is a need for a connection between institutions and the companies because the problems the companies encountered are supposed to be solved by the research going on at the various institutions, but that is not happening here, that is why we are not getting the number of patents we are supposed to have,” the Fides Et Ratio Academy boss posited.

Chukwuma also advocated a mechanism that will see Nigerian youths channel their uncommon ICT talents into positive use.

“The kind of brain our guys are putting in all those funny characters and fraudulent activities is not an ordinary brain because it is not easy to break into a system that is protected by all manners of firewalls. Why don’t we get thm to channel these to more productive use? With that we will be doing a computing system that exists nowhere, ” he posited.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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