STAKEHOLDERS OFFER SOLUTIONS TO E-LEARNING CHALLENGES 

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Education   stakeholders   who   attended   2020   Edutech   Conference   have urged government to adopt approaches that will promote advancement of Information  Communication   Technology   (ICT)   in   schools.
 They   said   the closure   of   schools   occasioned   by   covid-19   pandemic   has   exposed   the weakness of education system in Nigeria.
The   Managing   Director   of   Edufirst,   Mr.   Moses   Imayi   said  the   role   oftechnology in the education sector cannot be over emphasized hence therewas   need   to   encourage   the   future   leaders  to   showcase   innovation  andcreativity   in   their   attempt   to   compete   globally.
 He   averred   that   Edufirstmobilized   students   from   the   Federal   Unity   Colleges   (FUCs)   to   theconference   in   order   to   showcase   their   inventions   during   the   Covid-19 lockdown to encourage the general students to brace up for technologicalinnovations.
The theme of the conference jointly organized by Education First NigeriaLimited (Edufirst) and the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)was “Jobs, Education and Technology: The New Normal”.
The   conference   paraded   an   array   of   educators   in   the   private   sector,students   from   our   over   70   Technological   Experience   Centres   in   FUCs across the six geopolitical zones, students from the tertiary institutions, andother stakeholders. It featured interesting panel sessions, virtual networkingsessions, virtual exhibitions, and students’ presentations.
On his part, the President and Council Chairman of NBCC, Mr. KayodeFalowo said it is imperative that Africa should rethink its vision of the futureof education and take practical steps towards adopting a blended learningapproach   to   reposition   education   in   the   continent   and   ensure   students remain competitive in this global age.
According to him,  at the onset of the pandemic, many countries in Africahad to temporarily close educational institutions in an attempt to contain thespread of COVID-19 in their respective countries.
He added that, as theworld gradually readjusted to the new normal, the leadership and managersof higher education institutions across Africa have become fully aware ofthe imperatives of embracing change in order to sustain the viability of theiracademic enterprise.
Falowo noted that, “We have seen educational institutions at all levels inNigeria and across Africa, adopt online learning platforms such as GoogleLearning, Udemy, Microsoft, Zoom and so on.
However, despite efforts toensure   a   seamless   migration   to   online   platforms,   students   continue   toexperience challenges in the course of their academic pursuits.  According to UNESCO, 89% of students in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to household computers and 82%  lack  internet access.
This means  onlineclasses does not provide the full-fledged solution as desired”.
He   disclosed  that  several   universities   across  Africa,   including   countriessuch   as   Egypt,   Ghana,   South   Africa   and   Rwanda   among   others   havemoved some of their programmes to online platforms and partnered withTelco’s to zero-rate these platforms.
He then encouraged other countries totake steps to align to this new development.
Close to 2000 people attended the event.

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