BEST WAY TO SLAY: UCHE ONWUAMAEGBU-UGWU, REVOLUTIONIZING EDUCATION IN ANAMBRA
Before the global pandemic, majority of work places in Nigeria and beyond were compartmentalized brick and mortar spaces. Not anymore. The pandemic completely changed the nature and landscape of work, and both employers and employees are adjusting to this new reality. At the heart of this transformation is information and communication technology. The shift has affected the nature of business and led to digital transformation of workplaces. The shares of IT companies offering cyber security, teleconferencing and remote work monitoring tools are over the roof, with their valuation. Zoom is an example of how an idea turned into a multi-billion dollar venture.
In the Nigerian IT landscape, start ups are increasingly becoming beautiful brides and attracting humongous investments. Flutterwave and PayStack are IT companies that have attracted the attention of the world in recent times and have witnessed huge investments due to their potentials.
Educational pursuits around the world are gradually shifting from traditional disciplines to IT related field. Oil had become a tired and retired testament. The valuation of companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tesla far exceed the combined worth of oil majors.
It is in the light of these that Uche Onwuamaegbu and her enormous contributions in the deepening of IT knowledge in Anambra State can be appreciated. Describing her as the lady who sees tomorrow is apt. Uche understood the skill set needed for tomorrow, and the fact that tomorrow is already here. She sees in our young people limitless potentials and untapped creative energy that can be harnessed and unleashed to recreate the world. Her eye has been opened to the new oil that is ICT. And so she sought to empower young ladies especially through exposing them to the world of ICT and the limitless opportunities therein.
She, it was, who took our girls to a TECHNOVATION event competition in far away United States, with students from advanced countries of the world in participation, and they clinched the top prize. It was no ordinary feat. She has continued to be deeply involved in developing IT interests in young people, especially ladies and has through this skill, opened doors of exploits for them. The young Mr Obi Dabeluchi recently got an admission to study cyber security in Stanford University, USA because of the skills he learnt from this exceptional woman.
Here is a lady whose concept of beauty goes beyond the looks to include brains, who believe that women can be co-creators with men and can make extraordinary contributions to make the world a better place. She introduced STEM in Igboland and has nurtured it despite the uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship, changing the narrative and the stereotype about our people being focused only on trading and has expanded the landscape of opportunities, particularly for women. STEM education refers to problem solving that draws concepts and procedures from mathematics and science while combining teamwork and designing technical methodologies and using the right technology. The problem-solving nature of STEM education is very relevant as it addresses real-world problems. Students are exposed to challenging problem situations that requires the application of higher levels of cognitive reasoning. STEM provides a meaningful, practical, active, and authentic shared learning experience. It often contains abstract concepts, which require an understanding of the theoretical nature beyond what students can manipulate at a practical level.
She is beginning to diffuse STEM technology in Anambra state and Anambra is taking the lead in that aspect of education. The beautiful thing about it is how she is beginning to inspire the younger girls, shaping their thoughts on how best to slay, teaching them through technology that capacity and adding value is how best to be a real woman. What she is doing is building up capacity and making Anambra a place with vast IT workforce, a reservoir of tech girls, hungry for success and with an appetite to conquer the world. There is no doubt whatsoever that Anambra is unstoppable when women are the drivers of technology. It takes root in their families which is a microcosm of the larger society, and the society is the best for it.
Indeed, when Anambra eventually conquers the Nigerian IT landscape and the story is told, Uche Onwumaegbu and her exploits will occupy the front page.