Skyline University Nigeria (SUN), the first private university in Northwest Nigeria in collaboration with her sister university, Skyline University, Sharjah, has organized a 5-day e-workshop for private pre-varsity schools in North East region of Nigeria. The workshop is designed to support the future of work from home, enhance work-life balance during tough times as well as demonstrate the importance of machine learning amongst participants.
The 5-day e-workshop which was tagged ‘Reboot Training’ kicked off on Tuesday, 5th to 9th May 2020 and featured participants from all sections of secondary schools. The workshop was divided into two groups and conducted by thirteen foreign-trained professors from Sharjah. The first presentation was made by Dr. Ramakrishna, Dr. Taleb and Dr. Abdul Salam who spoke on remote working environment, benefits and challenges as well as technical issues related to remote working environment in group A. The second presentation was made by Dr. Kakul Agha, who spoke on ‘work from home & enhancing work-life balance during tough times’. The third presentation was on Machine Learning by Dr. Taher Ghazal and Dr. Manas Pradhan who unveiled Artificial Intelligence (AI) analysis for all participants in group B, amongst other instructors.
In his presentation at the e-workshop, one of the instructors, Dr. Manas, described Artificial Intelligence as the ability of a computer or robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. Dr. Manas, who is an expert in molecular Computing, Software Engineering, Business Analytics, Data mining, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc, said AI is changing the world of businesses.
Delivering a paper titled, ‘Virtual team management and Leadership’, Dr. Petr said that virtual learning is synonymous to regular class teaching methodologist in many aspects, adding that the world is beginning to adapt the methods of virtual learning with not more than 250 participants. “Soon, group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations will rely on communication technology such as email, skype, Microsoft teams, zoom etc. services to collaborate and reach achievable heights”, he asserted.
While positing that secondary/primary schools, higher institutions, all have roles to play concerning future information technology trends amongst students, Dr. Abdul Salam who delivered training on ‘technology issues related to remote working environment’ said that the workshop would provide methods, technologies and skills needed to make meaningful impact in the educational industry. He averred that schools must give rooms for change for students to be globally competitive.
While giving his opening remark, the workshop convener and Vice-Chancellor of Skyline University Nigeria, Professor Sudhakar Kota stated that the workshop aimed to empower the Proprietors/ Administrators of secondary schools in Kano in solution strategies, given the present global epidemic, Covid-19. In his words, “In this time of isolation, connecting for mutual benefit was the first step Skyline has taken in empowering the Proprietors of the schools”.
Professor Kota added that the workshop would enable participants to take full initiatives of activities such as this to build a strong learning outcome cutting across different disciplines amongst the teachers and students of their respective schools. Thus, making the secondary schools have access to first-hand information about workshops and training in Skyline University Nigeria.
The weeklong workshop which had an attendant of over 100 participants, attracted lots of positive feedback from participants. Giving her appreciation on behalf of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Nigeria, Hajiya Maryam Magaji, (Deputy National President) wrote, “We want to appreciate your effort for organizing such an educative, inspiring and innovative program. May Almighty Allah reward you bountifully. We also wish the next program would cover the entire nation, Thanks!”
Hon. Aliyu Rabiu Kurfi of Danmasani International, Katsina and the President of North West Region (NAPPS), agreed that the e-workshop was every step a real educational fun and ‘food for thoughts’ for all participants. He said “Each of the lessons commenced with stress-mitigating teasers to establish good rapport among the fairly distant 'strange online bedfellows'. It was a wow-series of competent, resourceful, approachable, communicative, distant learner-centric, patient and often humorous professionals. Our appreciation knows no bounds to the organizers and facilitators of the programme. We say a very special Thank You for the programme, as we look forward in anticipation of more and more ala the Oliver Twist. Congratulations!!!”
Another participant, Mr. Samuel Adejoh, the Principal of Asha International School, Kano, said that “The online training was a wonderful experience, characterized with learning of new ideas... I believe Skyline University Nigeria, have created a path of new online discoveries for other academic institutions to follow. I am grateful to be exposed to such an experience. The topics raised in the training are so relevant to 21st Century learning and leadership. The seminar was timely and necessary for school owners and administrators. The thought of using the Microsoft Team App was unique instead of the usual Zoom Cloud App adopted by many for online seminars. God bless you!”
Damilola Ajala, from Tots Academy, Abuja described the online seminar as a good initiative. As she puts it, “First of all, it was my first time knowing about the Microsoft Team and I discovered it is a very good meeting app. I joined from day one and logging in wasn't difficult at all. I particularly will comment on Dr Sharon, Dr Tariq and Dr Manas (Introduction to Machine Learning). Their teaching was very simplified, explicit and interactive. Mr Tauqeer on Excel Training made me go back to embracing excel (Couldn't imagine someone could teach Excel online as he did). Great job to them and every other speaker.
Mr. Lawan Sayyadi of Shubla Academy, who was happy to participate in the programme said “The program has been refreshing, educating, exciting and interacting. I'm sure most of the participants did enjoy it and benefitted from it. We look forward to more of it through the synergy of SUN and NAPPS.”
According to Ms. Salamatu Garba, proprietor of Wofan Comprehensive School Kano, a participant at the e-workshop, “the programme was a way forward to re-organizing ones’ priorities to factor in a home working schedule that maps out ‘urgent and important’ as against ‘urgent but not too important activities’ while working from home”. In all, participants agreed that the programme was a highly commendable training initiative by the university’s management.
In her closing remark, the coordinator of the programme and Director of Academic Support Services, Ms. Sarada Maganti, expressed appreciation to the instructors and participants as well for their contribution towards the success of the e-workshop. As she puts it, “I appreciate Dr. Abdulsalam, Dr. Ala, Dr. Hamzah, Dr. Kakul Agha, Dr. Karamath, Dr. Manas, Dr. Mohammed Afifi, Dr. Petr, Dr. Ramakrishna, Dr. Sharon & Tariq, Dr. Paul, Mr. Tauqeer and Mr. Taher for their informative presentations. I also commended the proprietors of Northwest region for putting effort in joining the mutually beneficial collaboration”.
The programme ended with a presentation of e-certificates to participants.