Education stakeholders who attended 2020 Edutech Conference have urged government to adopt approaches that will promote advancement of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in schools. They said the closure of schools occasioned by covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of education system in Nigeria.
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 the future leaders to showcase innovation and creativity in their attempt to compete globally. He averred that Edufirst mobilized students from the Federal Unity Colleges (FUCs) to the conference in order to showcase their inventions during the Covid-19 lockdown to encourage the general students to brace up for technological innovations.
The theme of this year’s Edutech conference jointly organized by Education First Nigeria Limited (Edufirst) and the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) was “Jobs, Education and Technology: The New Normal”.
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.
On his part, the President and Council Chairman of NBCC, Mr. Kayode Falowo said it is imperative that Africa should rethink its vision of the future of education and take practical steps towards adopting a blended learning approach to reposition education in the continent and ensure students remain competitive in this global age.
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 added that, as the world gradually readjusted to the new normal, the leadership and managers of higher education institutions across Africa have become fully aware of 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. He then encouraged other countries to take steps to align to this new development. Close to 2000 people attended the event.