EDUFIRST and NBCC have challenged stakeholders in education sector to promote technology education
Education First Nigeria Limited (Edufirst) and the Nigeria British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) have challenged stakeholders in the education sector in the country to adopt methods that will promote technology education.
Different speakers who spoke at the 2020 Edutech Conference which held virtually made this submission. The theme of the conference, attended by close to 2000 people, jointly organized by both organisations was “Jobs, Education and Technology: The New Normal”.
The President and Council Chairman of NBCC, Mr. Kalowo Falowo in his welcome speech noted that the situation of things occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of education system in Africa. He counselled education managers to ensure that they build on already made progress by sharing experiences on how to improve the education sector through technology.
According to him, at the onset of the pandemic, many countries in Africa had to temporarily close educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 in their respective countries.
He said as stakeholders gradually readjust to the new normal, the leadership and managers of higher education institutions across got to know understand the imperatives of embracing change in order to sustain the viability of their academic enterprise.
Falowo noted that, “We have seen educational institutions at all levels in Nigeria and across Africa, adopt online learning platforms such as Google Learning, Udemy, Microsoft, Zoom and so on. However, despite efforts to ensure a seamless migration to online platforms, students continue to experience challenges in the course of their academic pursuits. According to UNESCO, 89% of students in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to household computers and 82% lack internet access. This means online classes does not provide the full-fledged solution as desired”.
He disclosed that several universities across Africa, including countries such as Egypt, Ghana, South Africa and Rwanda among others have moved some of their programmes to online platforms and partnered with Telco’s to zero-rate these platforms, adding that in some instances, these universities have made data packages and laptops available to students to improve access.
The Managing Director of Edufirst, Mr. Moses Imayi said the role of technology in the education sector cannot be over emphasized hence there was need to encourage our future leaders to showcase innovation and creativity in their attempt to compete globally. He averred that Edufirst decided to bring in some students from the Federal Unity Colleges (FUCs) to showcase their inventions during the Covid-19 lockdown to encourage their colleagues to brace up for technological innovations of the 21st century.
The conference paraded an array of educators in the private sector, students from our over 70 Technological Experience Centres in FUCs across the six geopolitical zones, students from the tertiary institutions, and other stakeholders. It featured interesting panel sessions, virtual networking sessions, virtual exhibitions, and students’ presentations. Close to 2,000 people attended the event.