Nigerian education stakeholders in the country to form public-private partnerships (PPPs) to increase funding for ICT in education.
Leadership reports ministry of education director of human resource management Obi Ikibi, representing supervising minister Chief Nyesom Wike, made the plea at the two-day National Conference on ICT in Education.
He asked stakeholders to create financing models to allow for increased use of ICT in education and look to PPPs as a way of achieving this, given funding provided solely by the government had been inadequate.
“We believe that successful contributions to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and Education For All goals are most likely to be made through the development and deployment of ICT in education,” he said.
He said the present state of ICT in education in the country must be improved if Nigeria was to progress.
“Our policies should address the realities of our country even as they align with global trends. We should ensure that education goals and priorities drive our choice of technology,” he said.
“We should use ICT, not only for the acquisition of basic skills, but to foster the development of critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.”
HumanIPO reported earlier today a study funded by Ericsson and managed independently by a experts from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Columbia University Teachers College, University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Kampala University in Uganda had recommended PPPs as a way of increasing the rollout of ICT within the education sector, as teachers and learners can benefit from the adoption of such tools, as long as they are appropriately designed and properly supported with infrastructure and ongoing professional development for teachers.
Its findings indicated improvements in teaching and learning were evident when ICT tools and resources were well-designed and appropriate to school infrastructure and environment, but said ongoing training of teachers was vital.
“Research findings show that over the course of the study, guided use, training and professional development workshops offered essential support for teachers focusing on using ICT in their classrooms,” said the report authors.
According to the report, 21 per cent of teachers considered themselves to be “advanced” users of ICT at the beginning of the project, which increased to 45 per cent by the end of the period. There was also an 18 per cent increase in reported use of ICT in the classroom over the course of the project.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special advisor to the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, said: “Education is at the very core of economic development and a key to ending poverty. In the world economy today, every nation’s success depends on the education of its people, ICT will increasingly be at the center of the education process.
“ICT offers new and creative ways to combine classroom experience, home learning, global outreach, and connectivity of students and teachers to the burgeoning network of online learning now accessible throughout the world. Classrooms everywhere, from primary schools to higher education, will be dramatically transformed in exciting and enriching ways.”