By Demola Akinyemi ,Ilorin
The Executive Director of Brain Builders’ Youth Development Initiative(BBYDI) Mr Olasupo Abideen has tasked the federal and state governments and other stakeholders on the need to properly fund education, and review education curriculum in order to ensure that learning and learning methods meet the current realities and therefore overcome the unforseen challenges created by Covid-19 pandemic .
He said that the recommendation became necessary because the NGOs findings revealed that students were largely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as schools were closed and had their studies distrupted,saying that “This culminated in them spending additional year on campus which left some of them stranded, in hunger,anger and anxiety.”
Other stakeholders such as representatives of Kwara state government and Kwara State Polytechnic among were present at the occasion.
Below are the highlighted ” the recommendations of the NGO in partnership with Global Campaign for Education (GCE)after a research work to assess the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on education sector and how it affected the work environment.
He said the recommendations are expected to strengthen the Nigeria’s Education System and enable its preparedness for unforseen circumstances like Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Abideen while unveiling the policy brief titled, “Ride to Remote:Towards Improving Nigeria’s Education System Amidst Covid-19″ in Ilorin on Thursday said,”The federal government must make a concerted effort to increase investment in education by supporting Higher institutions to build a digital learning infrastructures.In the last 10 years,the budget allocation for education is less than 10%(average),government must take education seriously and improve investment in education to prepare young people for the present work life.”
He also said that Nigeria’s Internet penetrative is currently poor,”therefore the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) must collaborate with the ministry of education to ensure that Higher institutions and their surbubs have access to quality Internet.
Also NCC must deepenits efforts to implement the National Broadband Plan to improve Internet penetration across the country “
He further urged the Federal government to improve accreditation criteria for higher education institutions.
He said,”The National University Commission (NUC),National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and other accrediting agencies should include digital latency as part of accreditation criteria for higher institutions. Improving digital frontiers of higher institutions should not be at the behest of the school management, rather, it should be a legal mandate, for the establishment and maintenance of the institutions.”
Abideen also tasked management of higher institutions, “to invest in digital technology for distance learning “stressing that,”the pandemic has brought a new wave of education systems and institutions are struggling to adapt.”
He however noted that,”Before the pandemic, some institutions in Nigeria had an investment in some digital technologies, like the installation of Local Access Network (LAN) across the campus,investment in Wi-Fi connectivity and provision of tablets to students. These were done to gradually shift towards digital learning. “
The representative of Commissioner for Tertiary Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adat Modibbo, Alh Babalola Ayinla Musbau in his address commended the efforts of the NGO and expressed the willingness of the government to partner with it towards achieving its set goals.
In his remark, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Professor AbdulKareem Age Sulyman who was represented by Prof Tajudeen Ajibade described the initiative,as a welcome development.
The Vice Chancellor representative who explained various measures the university took to ensure that there was no record of Covid-19 pandemic in the academic community added that the University authorities had ensured that students didn’t miss any session despite the pandemic.
He however said that the main challenge is that virtual learning which is now a necessity as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic needs expensive android phone for members to participate,but unfortunately not everyone could afford it.
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