Nigeria: NGO Seeks Free Internet Access to Maximise Benefits of Education Technology in Nigeria

Ilorin — A non-governmental organisation based in Kwara State, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), has said free internet access remained a strategy to enhance and maximize benefits from education technology in Nigeria.

Speaking in Ilorin yesterday at the unveiling of the group’s Issue Brief, FactSheet and research titled: ‘Harnessing Education Technology in Africa: Scoping Study’, the Global Director of the group, Mr. Olasupo Abideen, however said emergencies can take many forms and it may be 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.”

Olasupo added: “As an organisation 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 to acknowledge the immense support and contributions of the Global Campaign for Education towards the success of this project.

“The 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, personalised, 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.”

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 familiarisation 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,” he stated.

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