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Group Unveils Factsheet, Issue Brief, Localised Research Document To Harness Education Technology In Africa



Group Unveils Factsheet, Issue Brief, Localised Research Document To Harness Education Technology In Africa

Awareness creation for teachers and parents and capacity building for teachers on modern digital technologies.

A group, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiate (BBYDI) in collaboration with Global Campaign for Education (GCE) has unveiled FactSheet and research titled “Harnessing Education Technology in Africa: Scoping Study” for education technology in emergency situations.

Mr Olasupo Abideen, the Global Director of the group said this at a news conference during the unveiling of the FactSheet in Ilorin, Kwara state on Thursday.

He said, the documents assessed the impacts of COVID-19 on Africa and Nigeria’s education systems and offered recommendations to relevant authorities and stakeholders.

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According to the World Bank, Nigeria experienced a significant expansion in access to education during the last few decades.

However, the country still has the highest number of out-of-school (OOS) children in the world. 11.1 million children aged between 6 and 15 were out of school in 2020, representing 1 in 12 of all OOS children globally and 22 percent of all children in this age group in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, he said emergencies take many forms – natural disasters, pandemics, and economic turmoil which have disrupted many daily lives and one of the areas that are most affected is education.

He noted that when schools are forced to close or students are unable to attend in-person classes, it can be challenging to continue providing high-quality education.

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Mr Abideen said by leveraging the power of technology, BBYDI will continue to provide students with access to learning materials, connect them with teachers and peers, and keep them engaged and motivated.

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“As an organization that has always engaged in advocacy towards expanding access to education in Nigeria, we were deeply worried about the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the country’s education system.

“This informed our collaboration with the Global Campaign for Education (GCE)
Permit me to at this point, acknowledge the immense support and contributions of the Global Campaign for Education towards the success of this project.

He explained that Edtech provided a bridge for students to continue their education and for teachers to continue teaching, even when they were physically apart.

According to him, It allowed for virtual classrooms, access to learning materials and resources, and communication between teachers and students.

Edtech has the potential to transform education and make it more accessible, personalized, and effective for all students. It also allows the use of innovative tools and techniques that can enhance the learning experience and improve student outcomes.

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Mr Abideen said edtech has played a vital role in helping to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic also a key component of the education of the future that will help to build a more resilient and adaptable education system.

He said the infrastructure to support e-learning is poor in the country with only 57% of Nigerians having access to electricity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recommendations for Harnessing EdTech in Africa Scoping Study

Training of teachers on how they could use EdTech tools in classroom activities. This should be a continuous process and should be incorporated into the teaching professional training manual.

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EdTech should be considered as an effective mechanism for supporting learning, whether or not there is a pandemic. This will create a sense of familiarization for the government, teachers and pupils. Schools should from time-to-time deployed EdTech in the day-to-day class activities.

He said while the provision of electricity is very important, the government should encourage the use of solar energy in schools as an alternative power supply, especially in hard-to-reach rural communities where electricity is non-existence. This should be supported with the EdTech devices such as tablets. A one-pupil-one tablet is also possible and could go a long way to address EdTech gap in schools.

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Removal of taxes from devices like laptops, desktop computers, and mobile phones for EdTech to succeed due to affordability considerations is recognized as a viable option for improving EdTech in sub-Saharan Africa.

He urged the government to partner with telecom providers to provide free data bundles for learners to access learning content online.

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Factsheet On EdTech in Education Emergency

Awareness creation for teachers and parents and capacity building for teachers on modern digital technologies.

Huge investment in internet connectivity at schools and Provision of an alternative form of energy for e-learning.

Collaboration and partnerships are essential for EdTech to be viable and Basic mobile channels and mass media will help scale solutions.

Improve the community network efforts to help address the digital divide and the need for deliberate policies to incorporate EdTech in the national education curriculum.

Meanwhile, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative have translated the policy document to the local language (Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo) in a bid to leave no one behind

Mr Abideen, however, appreciates the Global Campaign for Education for their support towards the success of the project and their contributions to the global education agenda.

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