The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for the deployment of innovative teaching methods and technology-driven tools to ensure access, particularly for those in rural communities.
Delivering a keynote address titled, ‘The Role of Universities in Nation Building’ at the Ahmadu Bello University 14th Annual General Assembly Lecture, she said the pandemic has also underscored the vital role of universities in the post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery process.
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She said the pandemic has deepened inequalities in the education sector and that its disruptive effects have been disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable.
She said it has also underscored the vital role of universities in the post-COVID 19 socio-economic recovery processes, particularly in the areas of medical and technological research and development, intellectual property and in shaping the next generation of graduates with a growth- and citizen-centric mindset to lead across all societal spheres.
“To this end, I firmly believe that our collective achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union development hinges in part on whether we are able to sustainably strengthen our universities and other tertiary institutions.
“This is particularly true as the 4th industrial revolution has great potential to drive global transformation and innovation in the education sector and beyond.”