The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Kano branch, Dr. Muttaka Dahiru has opined that acquisition of domestic skills remains the best panacea to threats by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the face of the ongoing global economic and climatic crisis.
Dahiru stated this during the 5th ASUP National Conference on Wednesday in Kano with the theme: Polytechnic Education and entrepreneurial Skills Acquisition for Sustainable Development in the Current Global Economic and Climatic Crisis.
According to him, the union is afraid that the current unemployment rate in the country could be worsen with the introduction of the AI which will force many people out of their conventional jobs as suggested by experts as such, the need to promote the acquisition of skills in domestic businesses for the sustenance livelihoods.
“We want our students, lecturers and the general public to adopt skill acquisition in the various domestic trade or businesses so as to sustain themselves in the face of the economic and climatic crisis and the threat posed by the introduction of AI”.
“We are worried about the projection that many jobs are going to disappear as the machine will soon be doing the jobs of many in few hours which will reduce cost on the part of manufacturers. That is why we are holding this conference to encourage the people especially in Nigeria to rise up ahead of this eminent danger to their source of livelihood and strengthened their source of income through domestic means”.
“We would be able to secure our jobs in areas that doesn’t require the Artificial Intelligence such as improved farming, animal rearing and many more for maximum output for us and even our generation to come”, he added.
In a paper presentation by Engr. A D K Muhammad, Director, Technical, Vocational & Skills Development, National Board for Technical Education Kaduna titled; Global Best Practices in Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Education in Our Polytechnics said Education and training systems need to adjust to meet global financial realities, in addition, to currency, relevance and local needs.
Muhammad who was represented by Dr. Aliyyu Umar, HOD Pharmaceutical, School of Technology (SOT) Kano, added that Educational Institution, policy makers and managers must realize that business as usual is not producing the right kind of results. In view of this, he said, it is necessary to prioritize, plan and adopt strategies that will ensure local condition are considered and incorporated into educational planning.
“Education needs to be put to work by giving youths working or employable skills for them to find seamless integration from school to work and for working adults to find avenues of re-skilling”, he added.
Also, the lead paper presenter, Prof. Ahmed Shehu Kutama highlighted the issue of poor funding, non-inclusion Polytechnic persons in government Councils and the abuse of appointment of Rectors.
He lamented that often, Rectors are appointed not inline with the rules governing the system, calling on the present administration under President Bola Tinubu to take note and take necessary measures to address the lingering problem.