By Charles Akinyokun
A major outcome of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 was for member countries that have existing IT policy to develop corresponding e-strategies, which is a framework for specific actions, targets and timelines for the full integration of IT in every sector of human endeavor.
As a follow up of this prescription, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in collaboration with United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa (UNECA) began the journey of developing Nigerian ICT4D strategic plan for all sectors of the economy [NITDA 2008b].
The ICT4D strategic plan is meant to serve as a road map for the full implementation of the existing national policy in each sector of Nigerian economy.
The National ICT4D strategic plan for Nigerian economic sectors has been developed within the context of achieving the Federal Government of Nigerian Seven Point Agenda and other socio-economic development programmes and initiatives aimed at positioning Nigeria amongst the 20 leading economies in the world by the year 2020.
The strategic plan is expected to serve as a point of policy-reference and a framework for complementing and supplementing short and medium term socio-economic development and budgetary plans of the Federal Governmentâ€™s long-term goal of building an information and knowledge-based economy and society.
In the education sector, the ICT4d strategic plan addresses eleven programmes, forty four implementation strategies, thirty two plan actions, and one hundred and six time-bound-measurable-targets were proposed. The eleven programmes of the ICT4D strategic plan are to:
a.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate the training of selected teachers and administrators in Nigerian schools on ICT education.
b.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate a compulsory ICT driven curriculum for Nigerian schools.
c.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate the procurement, installation, operation and maintenance of ICT equipment, software and consumables in Nigerian schools.
d.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate the use of ICT driven instructional materials and mode of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools.
e.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate the re-engineering of research and development in Nigerian schools using ICT tools and devices.
f.Â Â Â Develop and implement Management Information System (MIS) for Nigerian Schools.
g.Â Â Â Develop and implement ICT based system for the regular and continuous assessment and evaluation of the performance of Nigerian schools.
h.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate ICT driven entrepreneurship culture in Nigerian schools.
i.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate nation-wide robust and un-interruptible electricity, communications and Internet infrastructure in Nigeria.
j.Â Â Â Develop ICT education for the members of National Youth Service Corpers (NYSC).
k.Â Â Â Promote and facilitate the regular and continuous testing, measurement and evaluation of the impact of ICT in the growth and development of Nigerian education sector.
The specific objectives of ICT4D strategic plan in the education sector are to:
a. Provide functional education with a focus on:
lEmployment oriented education.
lSelf employment orientation.
lPreparation of school leavers for adaptable and adjustable disposition, self confidence and pride in one self, use of head and hand.
lEducation for entrepreneurship.
b. Provide qualitative education with a focus on:
lPreparation of school leavers that can excel in their choice of academic discipline.
lTeaching, research and community service geared towards the production of quality products and services.
lCitizenship and leadership training geared towards the building of man, community and society.lCapacity building and emancipation of critical mass and patriotic Nigerians.
c.Develop ICT driven curriculum characterized by both local and global contents with a focus on:
lCooperation and peaceful coexistence of students and staff which are characterized by different ethnic cultures, social backgrounds and religious ideologies.
lConflicts resolution, national orientation and national unity built on the principles of due respect and due process.
lStudying and adaptation of the process of developments and advancements in teaching, learning, research and community service of the developed and world class schools into the policy guidelines and strategic plan of Nigerian schools.
lBuilding of low, middle and high level man power for the economic sectors of Nigeria through electronic learning process.
lRe-introduction and integration of biotechnology which is currently a cutting edge technology that is driving the global food, health, industry and environment programmes and fast responding to both developed and developing nations aspiration into the curriculum of Nigerian schools.