Technology & Nigeria’s Education Problems Pt. 1 (Access)
In one of my previous posts, read here, I identified a couple of problems facing Nigeria’s education sector. One of the key issues mentioned was access, there are more university candidates than the admission slots available to them. This means that our education system (especially HigherEd) is unable to cater adequately to the growing demand. This post seeks to discuss how Technology can solve that problem.
On Friday 23rd, July 2014, Obafemi Awolowo University received approval from the National Universities Commission to begin receiving applications for its E-learning program for BSc Degrees in Accounting & Nursing. The programmes are administered online through a customized study tablet called Vigitab. Students do not have to report to a physical classroom. Their classroom is on the tablet which would be given to each student upon resumption. Students are only required to come to school to write their exams. This means in addition to the thousands admitted yearly into the residential degree program, access to their programmes will be available to many more students through the e-learning arrangement.
In 2001, President Olusegun Obasanjo resuscitated the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) which uses an E-learning platform called Ilearn to deliver its learning materials. In 2011, the University admitted over 55,000 students. The number of students admitted is 3 times more than what many Nigerian universities typically admit into their schools every year.
The two case studies above show how technology can solve our nation’s education access problems. If more Nigerian universities commence e-learning programmes, more Nigerian youths who qualify will be able to access a university education. Furthermore, they will not have to wait at home for several years thereby causing them to either be idle or demotivated over time.
What are the merits of engaging technology in education? Here are a few:
- Universities will be able to admit more candidates, thereby eliminating concerns for physical space constraints.
- It is a potential source of additional revenue for universities.
- More Nigerian youths will be in higher institutions.
- Flexible option for elderly Nigerians to get a university education.
- Promotes self-discipline and responsibility in students.
Some demerits however include poor individual agency/self-regulation habits, low student-teacher interaction as face-to-face communication is most times reduced or non-existent. Despite these demerits, the merits are much more especially for a country like Nigeria which can benefit greatly from technology enhanced learning.
E-learning programmes are typically delivered via web platforms, devices such as tablets, etc. Candidates are also given access to study materials using the internet and other technology devices which helps them study at their own pace.
Technology and tools that can be used to increase access to education include:
- Communication technologies like email, social networks, Skype etc.
- Database Software
- Content Management Systems
- Learning Management Systems
- Multimedia Software such as Flash etc.
- Mobile devices and tablets.
In conclusion, more Nigerian schools should endeavor to engage technology so as to solve the problem of low access in our education sector.
Are you looking to engage technology in your school or organization for learning? Do not hesitate to contact us via http://www.eyecity.ng/contact/. You may read more about our learning management consulting service here http://www.eyecity.ng/learning-management-systems/.