Don Canvasses Collaboration among Humanities, Sciences, Others for National Development… As Faculty of Arts Holds Public Lecture

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The Guest Lecturer of the 3rd Faculty of Arts Public Lecture of Ajasin Adekunle University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, and Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan, Prof. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, on Tuesday last week stressed the need for synergy among Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences and Technology for Nigeria to witness the desired development in the 21st century and beyond.

The Public Lecture was titled, Creativity and the Dimensions of Literacies for Nation Building in 21st Century Nigeria.

Prof. Raji-Oyelade of the Department of English, University of Ibadan, said, “The knowledge of the abstract sciences, the interventionist grind of the clinical sciences, the enterprise of technology, the developmental engagement of the social sciences, the inventive creationism of the arts and other disciples must be fully harnessed for the achievement of national development.”

While urging the creative class to be more proactive and challenged in moving the nation towards sustainable and genuine development, the literary giant, said, “Our creative class deserves more engagement and attention by governments and corporations.”

According to the Guest Lecturer, the emergence of certain literates – the e-literate literate, the e-illiterate literate, the illiterate e-literate and the ‘pretendant’ e-literate, is in relation and reaction to new digital media.

Prof. Raji-Oyelade defines the e-literate literate as the classical networked person, a well-educated and virtual web citizen – netizen of sort, who feels at home with the operative manual of the new media.

The Guest Lecturer identifies the e-illiterate literate as a person who has conventional literacy but lacks the lateral literacies of the new media; he is capable of finding his path in the labyrinth of the digital space; he belongs to the group of impaired elite, even academic, ill-equipped with the demands of the digital web-age.

Prof. Raji-Oyelade describes the illiterate e-literate as different groups of poorly educated or mis-educated folks, under-educated or informally educated people, who are self-trained in the half-measure use of the basics of internet and electronic knowledge.

He classifies the ‘pretendant’ e-literate as the group of people who counts on assistance of e-literates to cover their own “e-illiteracy”.

Prof. Raji-Oyelade who said the cost of illiteracy is mis-education, which is also the foster child of ignorance, said the 2013 Human Development Index report of the United Nations Development Programme, ranks Nigeria 153 out of 187 countries listed under ill-literacies, adding, “…the adult illiteracy rate for both sexes is 61.3 per cent.”

He said, “The direct results of mis-education include acts of insurgency (with its attendant violence and displacement), poverty, individual and group low self-esteem, an irredeemable degradation of people’s cultural intelligence and invariably the retrogression of the intellect.”

He, therefore, stressed the need for laying the general ideology of literacy with specific priority on the cultural education of the human mind towards cultural self-awareness, political will, social sense of worth, and sense of creativity.

He charged Nigerians to embrace all-round education which emphasizes versatility and the total development of the human mind for national development.

Earlier in his speech, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi, had, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Femi Mimiko, thanked the Guest Lecturer, for accepting to share his wealth of experience with the University Community.

Prof. Ajayi commended the entire members of the Faculty of Arts under the Deanship of Prof. Oluyemisi Adebowale, for embracing and upholding the age-old University’s tradition of organizing public lectures and seminars and for keying into the vision of the incumbent Administration to make “our University a bastion of academic activities that hallmark a 21st Century University, properly called that we earnestly seek to build of AAUA.”

He said public lecture is an academic feast that must be desired by all academic staff being a veritable platform to learn, share, cross-fertilize ideas, crystallize thoughts, process and develop public policies for the nation’s public policy drivers.

The DVC described the topic of the lecture as “apt and interesting, especially at this time that our country is faced with myriads of 21st century socio-economic and political challenges and as our leaders are pursuing the vision of 20:2020.\”

In her speech, Prof. Adebowale, who noted that the Faculty of Arts pioneered Faculty Lecture Series in the University, said the Faculty had also instituted Faculty of Arts Seminar Series where ideas were being canvassed, interrogated, formulated and sharpened.

The Dean, who said that the Seminar Series would hold every first and third Wednesday of each month, beginning from Second Semester of 2013/2014 session, stated, “Prof. Odun F. Balogun of the Department of English Studies presented a thought-provoking paper on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 on the topic, Nature and Uses of Irony in Life and Literature.”

Prof. Adebowale thanked the Vice Chancellor for always showing staunch interest in scholarly engagements within and outside the University. She said, “In fact, his prompt approval of funds for this lecture, again, demonstrates his passion for the growth of intellectualism.”

The Dean appreciated all members of the Faculty of Arts Public Lecture/Seminar Committee under the leadership of Dr. Busuyi Mekusi for their efforts at making the event remarkable.