A senior lecturer in the Department of English Language, University of Lagos, Prof. Patrick Oloko, has warned that giving students unhindered access to technology and the internet could affect their creative thinking ability.
Oloko said it would also make putting out new knowledge and having a Nigerian version of technology impossible. He also advised teachers to be more careful in how they guide the children.
Oloko said this in Lagos at the presentation of prizes to winners of the 2023 Mike Okonkwo Essay Competition during the 22nd Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture titled ‘Nigerianization of Nigerians: A Look Inward’.
The competition was initiated in 2004 as part of activities to celebrate the birthday of the Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo.
Oloko, who represented the chief examiner for the essay competition, Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, regretted that out of the 795 entries received on the topic ‘Nigerianisation of Nigerians: A Look Inward’, only three students’ essays were original enough to be invited for another round of validation test.
This, he said, was unlike in the past when 10 students were invited. Also, he said only two of the three students turned up for the test.
The winner and runner-up are Destiny Ike of VIK International School, Alagbado, Ogun State, and Alexander Chibuzor of Archbishop Heerey Technical College, Ogidi, Anambra, addressed the topic within the mental orbit of their age and demonstrated commendable passion and independent thinking in their writing.
However, he added that the others were either lifted directly from online sources and presented as original materials or were revised and presented as such.
For their efforts, Ike received a cheque of N500,000, a trophy and a plaque, while her school got a set of computers. Chibuzor received a cheque of N250,000 and a plaque, while his school got a set of computers.
In his remarks, Okonkwo condemned all forms of malpractice and commended the judges for making extra effort to identify the cheats.
He stated that the organisers of the competition are more interested in the process of winning the prize.