The University of Ilorin has stressed the need to bridge the gap between academic studies and practical ability among Nigeria university students for their future opportunities.
Speaking at the third edition of Fotoclique Photography Exhibition of the Mass Communication students of the university themed: “The Perspectives”, a Photo Journalism lecturer, Dr Khadijat Kadiri, said that practical education is key to today’s learning.
“Over the last few years, one of the key significant talking points about today’s graduates in the workplace is their inability to properly function at their places of employment.
“There seems to be a huge stigma surrounding younger people arriving into new jobs; and while many have questioned why one very plainly obvious reason is that they’re simply not used to working.
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“With the above in mind and the understanding that education is the bedrock upon which the foundations of every facet of the society is built, it is important to bridge this gap and encourage learners to practice what they are taught while they are in school”, she said.
Dr Kadiri, who said that photojournalism has gone beyond what can be learnt within the confines of the classroom, added that photojournalism is now an academic endeavour which is more practical than being theoretically based.
“Academic studies are vital. But you cannot learn to ride a bicycle in the classroom. Hence, practical education is key to today’s learning. Yes, while formal education plays a chief role in preparing young adults for life after school, setting the bases by handing them the knowledge required to live–the ‘know-what’. But it is becoming a heavily realised fact today that many are lacking the ‘know-how’, she said.
The university don said that Fotoclique photography exhibition is one of the platforms provided to students of photojournalism to help them become more prepared and motivated photo-journalists.
This year’s fotoclique is themed ‘the perspectives’. Every photographer is an artist. No matter the level of photography you do. It has once been said that photography is first an art before a science because you have to see the picture before the click.
It is first art because you have to paint the image before the capture. After the capture, the picture tells its own stories according to the perspectives of everyone who comes across it.
“Therefore, it is only important that this skill is handed down to the young ones. And so today, these students have crafted images in their heads and turned them out through the lenses of their camera.
“My passion for photography has created a new path for me. What I have been able to achieve within the humanitarian sector using simple compelling photographs to tell stories on social media is visible even to the blind. From what began as a pastime clicking, it grew into a huge philanthropy organisation (The Grassroots Aid Initiative) that has provided various basic amenities for different local societies in Nigeria including building a new house for an elderly woman, providing borehole water for villagers in five villages in Oyo and Kwara States, paying school fees for the less privileged in three different states.
All these life-changing feats were made possible through using compelling pictures not only to tell stories about people that live on the edge of the society but it has also changed their narratives.
“These feats have fetched me several awards locally and outside the shores of Nigeria including the most prestigious Gani Fawehinmi Outstanding Impact Award.