Technology leverage and its effect on education in Nigeria increases the opportunity and ease with which people get skilled. Online learning has done a lot, but its usability has not been fully explored in the country.
The outbreak of COVID-19 changed the course of the world, and we are still discovering how much. Following the hit of the pandemic, online learning became the best option for continuing education. As humans try to get back to normal as much as possible, the high usage of online platforms has been reduced. However, it remains a great tool brought about by technology.
Let’s take a look at where the Nigerian education space is in relation to technology.
The Nigerian Education Space and Technology
The general definition of education is the process of becoming enlightened. There is the traditional setting and the non-traditional setting. In the non-traditional setting, the online learning platforms in Nigeria and the opportunities they offer are impressive. Most Tech Bros and Sis began their tech journeys via an online learning platform. Many people get their degrees online and some get additional skill sets in their own time, thanks to the online learning opportunities. These platforms are doing a lot, but we might need more.
As many skilled youths leave the country for better opportunities, there is a need for the young people back home to skill up and build the nation. We run a risk of staying underdeveloped while we help develop other countries. We need to learn enough to remain on par with our counterparts around the world.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, many people turned to online learning to stay enlightened. Private schools created platforms and found ways to keep the students learning. That was not the case with students of public schools. While the private schools got on with their learning, the public schools were left bereft of education. This was a sad case bound to create an imbalance in the educational economy. Digital inclusion is a challenge.
A gap remains until technology is made as accessible for everyone as possible. In the educational scenario, anyone can learn anything online, but access to an internet connection and devices remains a major hindrance to a majority of the population. Considering that a large part of the population is of youthful age, access to digital tools and platforms will make a lot of difference in our future.
Once again, we turn to the government and see what is required of them.
Technology Leverage in Education and the Role of the Nigerian Government and Major Players
Nigeria is blessed with great minds interested in education. The educational system, from the primary, through the secondary, to the tertiary levels, has little or nothing good to talk about. From an outdated curriculum to the ASUU strike, the best bet for the Nigerian student is online learning or schooling abroad.
According to a report, 9 out of 10 Nigerian students currently seek opportunities to study abroad. However, while talent is universal, opportunity is not. The barriers, which include cost and qualification, are not spread to all who desire to travel for education. The next best thing is to get access to world-class study and practice back here in Nigeria. Many things frustrate the students who settle for this option. From the epileptic power supply and a lack of dependable internet infrastructure to the expensive cost of hardware, everything seems to stand against them.
Also, if they manage to get through these and learn, practising and honing the acquired skills becomes almost impossible. It becomes a case of having learnt what is best practised abroad.
The government should build innovation centres where learners get to practise and grow. It is one thing to learn, and another to grow and hone the skills. Mastery is key, but the opportunity to gain mastery in Nigeria is rare.
In schools, the use of digital devices is still seen as some sort of novelty. Laptops and other devices are mainly acquired when it is time for the student’s project. This is due to the outdated curriculum and the reluctance of the players to embrace digitization. The fear of becoming irrelevant has made them stick to the obsolete.
Technology plays a role in the socio-economic growth of many industries, but the leverage of technology is most evident in education. The government should partner with innovators to create and support opportunities for innovation to expand learning platforms and communities. They should realise that they are responsible for the basic education of their citizens. They should see the available depth of technology and find ways to empower as many of the citizens as possible to this level.
The major players in the educational system should realize that technology makes things easier and that they will only become irrelevant if they do not stay with the times.
While offline education will never go out of style as long as the need for physical interaction remains, technological progression shows that preferences will change. For instance, with 5G technology, things will change at an exponential rate. By studying the preferences of the emerging generation, the best practices to drive education in the future will be recognized. This can only happen if we study and take advantage of technology leverage and its effect on education in Nigeria.