Third world countries have had various problems that they tackle, chief of which is the non-availability of decent education for their younger generation.
Educational inclusion is a pressing matter that needs urgent attention, especially in Nigeria.
Before the advent of technology, countries from developing regions of the world have recorded how slow-paced some of them are in terms of having clear access to education.
Apparently, in a country like Nigeria, there are people who still do not have access to education.
Having this in mind, the government of the day has tried to create programs that will provide educational inclusion for all and sundry in our educational system.
An example of some developmental schemes created by the Nigerian government to tackle the problems of lack of access to education in the country is the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program.
The Universal Basic education is a program introduced by the Nigerian government in the year 1999 to provide wider access to basic education in all states in the federation. This means that basic formal education will be free.
With the UBE program, pupils can get access to enrollment for a compulsory 9 years of primary and secondary education which also includes a compulsory computer literacy program for each pupil or student.
Despite this effort by the Nigerian government, so many persons, especially the underprivileged still cannot get a decent education.
In Northern Nigeria, teachers have been deployed to help the state government achieve a higher percentage of education for their younger generation but the impact is not felt as insurgency and terrorism rakes the region.
With this challenge currently facing the educational sector in Nigeria and the prevalence of technology, can technology be used to directly solve this problem?
Can educational inclusion be achieved in Nigeria? How can the under-served get an education through technology?
Technology has made things easier for people. With technology, ideas have literally turned into reality and developing countries have transformed their economies with groundbreaking inventions.
Bridging the gap in present-day education
Technology is that brilliant tool that can be used to bridge the divide in present-day education. Most schools or institutes have realized how essential it is to use technology in educating those who wish to be learned at any given stage.
As a matter of factly, some government parastatals and institutions of higher learning have embraced technology in their delivery of quality educational content.
Leveraging technology is more than having computers in classrooms, there is more to it.
It would be more beneficial if teachers and students learn how to use an electronic device like a computer or a mobile phone to their advantage.
Introducing courses around Information Communication Technology in Post-primary schools and tertiary institutions has given students a wider perspective about how rapidly the world is advancing and how things are changing in general.
How can the under-deserved get an education through technology?
The internet has made learning and access to learning materials easy. With learning management systems and access to online courses, one can confidently say that anybody, anywhere can access education as long as there is a fast and reliable internet connection and an electronic device.
In Nigeria, there are a number of agencies that can help improve the lives of the underprivileged in terms of education in our society by enabling them to have access to an education no matter their level of financial capabilities.
Educational inclusion will be achieved only if the underserved or those domiciled in rural areas are granted access to a decent education.
Aside from building schools, another step the government needs to take so as to achieve educational inclusion in rural communities is:
- The provision of non-sophisticated mobile devices that is connected to the internet
- A 6 month or 1-year internet subscription plan
- Well-paid teachers or volunteer teachers who would curate online courses and a platform
- An app where these students or pupils would visit and start learning on the go
However, there are factors that might put all of these ideas on hold. Factors like corruption from the government and their inability to release funds to carry out laudable projects such as this.
The fact is; the government has enough capital resources to pull this off but, they have decided to talk plenty without putting in the work.
Government agencies like NITDA and NCC can step up their games and champion the cause of fostering educational inclusion especially for young persons in rural or low-income areas.
Telecos are not left out in this at all. They can contribute to achieving educational inclusion by channeling their energies into engaging in corporate social responsibilities that will change the face of education in Nigeria.
It is not enough to get mobile devices for these students, they also need data to be able to access online courses.
The underprivileged in our society can only enjoy the benefits of acquiring an education with technology only if the government partner with various tech stakeholders, agencies, and NGOs.
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