A Kwara Based Non-Governmental Organization, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) has emphasized the importance of internet access to enhancing and maximizing benefits from Education Technology in Nigeria.
This much was disclosed today at a press conference addressed in ilorin by the group’s Global Director, Abideen Olasupo, stressing that emergencies can take many forms – natural disasters, pandemics, economic turmoil, and more.
He said “These events can disrupt our daily lives and routines in unimaginable ways, and one of the areas that is most affected is education.
“When schools are forced to close or students are unable to attend in-person classes, it can be challenging to continue providing a high-quality education. This is where education technology comes into play. By leveraging the power of technology, we can continue to provide students with access to learning materials, connect them with teachers and peers, and keep them engaged and motivated.
“As an organization that has always engaged in advocacy towards expanding access to education in Nigeria, we were deeply worried about the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the country’s education system. This informed our collaboration with the Global Campaign for Education (GCE)
Permit me to at this point, acknowledge the immense support and contributions of the Global Campaign for Education towards the success of this project.
“Edtech provided a bridge for students to continue their education and for teachers to continue teaching, even when they were physically apart. It allowed for virtual classrooms, access to learning materials and resources, and communication between teachers and students.
“But edtech is not just a stopgap solution for the pandemic. It has the potential to transform education and make it more accessible, personalized, and effective for all students. It allows for the use of innovative tools and techniques that can enhance the learning experience and improve student outcomes” he stressed
Olasupo however recommended among others the “Training of teachers on how they could use EdTech tools in classroom activities. This should be a continuous process and should be incorporated into the teaching professional training manual.
“EdTech should be considered an effective mechanism for supporting learning, whether or not there is a pandemic. This will create a sense of familiarization for the government, teachers and pupils. Schools should from time-to-time deployed EdTech in the day-to-day class activities.
“While the provision of electricity is very important, the government should encourage the use of solar energy in schools as an alternative power supply, especially in hard-to-reach rural communities where electricity is non-existence. This should be supported with the EdTech devices such as tablets.
“There should be awareness campaigns, workshops, and information sessions to help implement EdTech programmes.
“Removal of taxes from devices like laptops, desktop computers, and mobile phones for EdTech to succeed due to affordability considerations is recognized as a viable option for improving EdTech in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Government should partner with telecom providers to provide free data bundles for learners to access learning content online” he added