Abuja – Dr Margee Ensign, Vice-Chancellor, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, says Computer Science students of the institution have written a computer application for teaching Hausa and Fulfulde languages.
Ensign disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at a two-day Conference on Technology-Assisted Learning in Nigerian Higher Education organised by NUC and AUN on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said that AUN deployed ICT massively and would soon connect Yola with fibre optics to boost access to ICT.
“We have a programme called Student Empowerment through Language, Literacy and Arithmetic (STELLA) where all our students are teaching vulnerable people how to read.
“Our Computer Science students have written apps for teaching Hausa and Fulfulde because people want to learn in their mother tongues.
“We will sign an agreement with the US Government to extend STELLA to other parts of North-East Nigeria.
“We are training vulnerable children on eight weeks free ICT access to know how to access technology; we hope to bring fibre optics to Yola so that the whole community has access to technology.’’
She said that the school had established a strong internet presence; which earned it a visit from Google two years ago.
According to her, Google visited AUN because it noticed AUN presence on the worldwide usage map as the institution used some Google technology.
“We are using e-books everywhere; every student and staff uses computer – a laptop or ipad.
“So, we have access to world knowledge; our jobs as faculty members and teachers are train people on how to access technology and how to evaluate it.
“We have 22 programmes focused on STEM- Science Technology Engineering and Maths in the secondary schools.
“The American Library Association recently ranked universities according to their digital holdings; AUN was one of the top three in the world – above Oxford and Cambridge.
“We have one of the best digital holdings.’’
Ensign said that AUN took into cognisance the challenges in the North-East and believed that technology could be used in tackling the challenges.
According to her, Nigeria’s population is growing rapidly; and by 2025, it will be the third largest in the world.
The vice-chancellor said therefore that there would not be not enough time to build more schools and train more teachers; hence the need to deploy technology.
“We believe technology is an important part of the answer; we thought it was right to partner with NUC to bring all the VCs together to see how we can map out strategies on how to tackle the problem.’’
She said she believed that participants at the conference would leave with strategies on how to jumpstart education through ICT. (NAN)