Newsroom and classroom… ACSPN, UNESCO strengthen bond

Prof Idowu SobowaleTHE Empowerment Series initiated, last year, by the Association of Communication Scholars & Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) is growing in leap and bound as its 9th edition, holding tomorrow, June 30, 2015 at The Regent Luxury Suites, 25 Joel Ogunnaike Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos has secured the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Tagged:  Issues in Communication Studies and Practice (4), the one-day discussion programme will be examining Between the Classroom and the Field; Building consensus on Gaps and Priorities in Journalism and Communication Education with Prof Idowu Sobowale of Covenant University, Ota as lead discussant.

Regarded as the first collaboration between ACSPN and UNESCO, the seed of tomorrow’s outing was sown last year September in Abuja. The scribe of ACSPN who is also Dean, College of Social and Management Sciences (COSOMAS), Caleb University, Imota, Lagos, Professor Nosa Owens-Ibie provides details on the partnership.

“At ACSPN’s Inaugural Conference in Abuja in September 2014, Guest Speaker, Professor Hassana Alidou, then the Director, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office, Abuja fully identified with ACSPN’s commitment to initiate and execute game-changing plans, programmes and activities in the service of the field of communication.

That promise has witnessed various contacts but is now blossoming into wholesale collaboration in this 9th edition of the ACSPN Empowerment Series (AES) which this organization with a track record is supporting.”

The choice of the topic, according to Prof. Owens-Ibie, is motivated by the realization that “there is an attraction to journalism and communication education in Nigeria evident in the interest of candidates seeking tertiary institutions admission annually.

However, the various disciplines remain the foci of the debate on the relevance of current curricula to the needs of the market.   “The routine of keeping faith with subsisting traditions in the learning environment has spawned a business-as-usual mind-set which given the frenetic pace of changes in practice and against the background of new technologies and the new media revolution threaten complacency with irrelevance.”

Featuring academics and professionals with the passion and clear commitment to value addition, ACSPN General Secretary is optimistic that the programme tomorrow will yield an output that is going “to be a one-stop reference on the way to the desired future.”

ACSPN, he said, “is promoting the required direction to strengthen scholars, consultants and other professionals in gap areas in scholarship and practice without the profit motive and this is another fulfilment of promise.”

Since its metamorphosis from the Communication Association of Nigeria (CANI) to  Association of Communication Scholars & Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) heralded through an inaugural conference in Abuja in September 2014, its activities and programmes have been underscored by the understanding that “the field of communication maintains a dynamic which is peculiar, challenging and requiring constant rethinking to keep pace in a world where local realities are as critical as global templates are compelling.

The need for gap analysis remain an inevitable to identify priorities and effect the plug-in in order to make journalism and communication education relevant, competitive and mainstreamed.”

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