A culture icon, Professor Jerome Okonkwo of the Centre for Igbo Studies, Imo State University, Owerri, has advocated for strategies to focus on values and appropriate language education, to be adopted as tools in transforming the Nigerian youth into an ideal citizen with good character and morals.

The university don stated this in a one day seminar organized by the South-East Zonal office of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) for selected secondary schools in Imo State, on Wednesday, 20th of November, 2013, with the theme, “Cyber-world, Culture and the Youth.”

Giving insight on terms, like, cyber, culture, cyberworld, youth, Worldwide Web and cybercrime, Professor Okonkwo critically examined the pros and cons of the cyber world and the challenges that today’s children face in striking a balance between being good children to their parents and being products of addiction to the internet.

Earlier, the NICO South-East Zonal Head, Mrs. Chioma Duru, stressed that the Institute’s focus on youth orientation was a pointer to its recognition of their strategic position as a potent force for change with a crucial role in harnessing culture for national development, adding that it was also in fulfilment of one of the cardinal objectives of NICO to promote and develop relevant curricular aimed at integrating Nigeria’s culture into the educational system at all levels.

While opining that the cyber world was a super highway for sophisticated online computing with large data base for the educational advancement of students, she decried the enslavement of the youth and their misplaced attention to it, making reference to the mischief they engaged in through unbridled access to the internet.

The event, which featured schools debate, reading of texts in Igbo language, cultural dances from the participating schools, News Flash by students, questions and answers, and award of prizes, was the 2nd edition of the zone’s orientation programmes for the youth and would be the last of the formal activities that had been mapped out for 2013 in the South-East zone.

In attendance were over 40 teachers from different schools, a representative of the Ministry of Education, Mr. N. N. Amaechi, the new Curator of National Museum, Owerri, Dr. (Mrs.) Carol Okeke, Dr. G. Nwakonobi of Imo State University, and High Chief V. Arisiukwu, among others.

Humphrey Ejiogu & Wise Onwuzurumba
NICO SEZ, Owerri