1. Home
  2. Tech
  3. News
  4. VP: Technology can fix public and private education gap

VP: Technology can fix public and private education gap

VP: Technology can fix public and private education gap
0

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says technology adoption is the fastest way to bridge affordability gap between public and private education in Nigeria.

Speaking at the Second Annual Nigeria Education Conference held at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel on Tuesday, Osinbajo advocated for the introduction of the use of electronic platforms in the public school system.

“I strongly believe that the fastest way to breach the gap between those who can afford good quality education and those who cannot is technology. Technology also provides the means to leapfrog the huge knowledge created daily between the hemispheric north and south,” the Vice President says.

“I strongly believe that the fastest way to breach the gap between those who can afford good quality education and those who cannot is technology. Technology also provides the means to leapfrog the huge knowledge created daily between the hemispheric north and south,” the Vice President says.

According to him, the need to introduce modern technology into public schools is to bring a change on the method of teaching and learning to improve the reading skills of school children.

“We know that many who go through public primary schools have serious difficulties in reading and writing. So, we must change something about what we are doing now,” Osinbajo tells the forum.

“There are available methods today that can accelerate teaching, reading and writing but the reason why that is not available in public schools is that we are not investing enough. Not just in technology but in new methods and ensuring that those children who are in public schools have access to some of the better methods to reading and writing,” according to the VP.

The Vice President related an experience in Haryana, India, where an Indian educationist reformed public education in just four years using modern technology such as the social media.

“I came across the inspirational experience of an Indian educationist who in four years reformed public education in Haryana. The school system had 15,000 schools, 100,000 teachers and 2 million students. The most important part of the story is that the reform was done with little or no resources by using situations around the teachers and the schools including WhatsApp for sharing ideas and information among the teachers and supervisors in the department of education,” according Osinbajo.

“The reason why the story is particularly inspiring is that it did not take that long; it only took the commitment and a dedication to solving the problem,” he added.

VP: Technology can fix public and private education gap
Students using the computer lab in the school

Relating a Nigerian experience where technology is used in a classroom setting, he said: “I was watching the other day an animated video on class room management made by Nigerian animation innovators in partnership with Nigerian educators. The material does not need to be replicated at any great cost. It will be available on portals or any other electronic platform. All of such materials can be downloaded and used on a smartphone.”

He also emphasises the need to get technology companies to contribute to education in Nigeria, especially in the areas of making data more affordable and available for teachers and students within the school environment.

“MTN for example is giving free data for the 500,000 volunteer corps graduates who we are engaging, to be able to get access to and use materials available on the training portal,” according to the VP.

Cross section of students at the Girls in ICT 2016 event in Lagos
Cross section of students at the Girls in ICT 2016 event in Lagos

The Vice President also stressed the need for the training of teachers in technology, which he said is becoming cheaper and more intuitive, to enable them compete in the global society.

“It is therefore quite clear that teacher education itself must radically change. Teacher training must be technology driven. I also think that a teacher must be trained in much wider curriculum. A teacher must be trained in employ-ability skills, project management, financial management and entrepreneurial skills. Training this new generation of young people is a new challenge. Today, we are training individuals who must learn to multi-task and compete in the global society; the best jobs will require complex skills,” Osinbajo says.

Referring to the gap between the education for the poor and the better-offs as a learning crisis, the Vice President said: “I think it is true, it is indeed a learning crisis. But if we were to propose here that we must engage technology in our public school system, many will say it is unrealistic and unnecessary, how can we afford it. Somehow, we become somewhat more cynical about education for the disadvantaged.”

While finally declaring the education summit open, Osinbajo commended the Minister of Education and his team for their commitment and dedication to teacher education and the important issues that will shape the future of our society and nation.

There's joy in sharing
Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

We want to hear from you...