COVID-19: Expert seeks massive investment in ICT to revive education




Mr Badmus Banigbe,  the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Hitech Solutions, on Wednesday advocated massive investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT) , saying it is the catalyst to revive the nation’s educational sector amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

Banigbe made the suggestion while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti.

He said that there was an urgent need for a major shift in the nation’s educational  system and its  curriculum to conform to   internationally acceptable standard.

Banigbe said that COVID-19 pandemic had provided a veritable platform and opportunity for stakeholders to come together  and evolved  workable solutions to the challenges in the educational sector.

According to him, the survival of the sector largely depends  on stakeholders’ collective responsibility in view of the damages already inflicted on the sector by the pandemic.

“As more countries close schools over COVID-19, more creativity is needed to revive the educational sector from imminent collapse and Nigeria is not an exception.

“Educational administrators and policy makers can use this crisis as an opportunity to introduce new learning modes that can reach everyone; to prepare for emergencies, and to make the system more resilient,” he said.

Banigbe said that the COVID-19 period  could be used as the starting point for massive deployment of ICT  into schools through online and distance learning.

“With the outbreak  of COVID-19, most students in developed countries have continued to gain access to quality education through the internet and distance learning, despite the lockdown.

“Government through the National Assembly, state houses of assembly,
and the Federal Ministry of Education, needs to ensure adequate funding for the success of such an intervention.

“Funds from individuals, corporate bodies, and international donors should be judiciously channelled toward improving the educational  sector in the face of the COVID-19 menace.”

He said that many countries had turned to distance learning as a means of mitigating the lost time by schools.

He listed such countries to include: China, Italy, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

“While massive investment in infrastructure and connectivity is critical, teachers  and administrators’ familiarity with the tools through training processes are also key factors in providing distance learning for students.

“In addition, designated television channels should also broadcast educational materials to millions of viewing student population,” Banigbe said.

The ICT expert who observed that  private school administrators were the worst hit by COVID-19-induced downward trend in the educational sector, said they would benefit immensely from the ICT intervention.

“Such investment will create the enabling platform for educators to strategise and   salvage  the sector from its imminent collapse.

“This is a sector which had, in the past, faced with its own peculiar challenges of inadequate funding,  and  a high number of out-of-school children,” he said.” 

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