July 10, 2024

Sununu highlights EdTech opportunities at Mastercard foundation conference

Sununu highlights EdTech opportunities at Mastercard foundation conference

At the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Conference, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, emphasized the pivotal role of technology in transforming the educational landscape in Nigeria. He highlighted by the significant penetration of mobile phones, with 114 million Nigerians having access to them, presenting a substantial opportunity for leveraging EdTech solutions to enhance education.

“Mobile phones provide a crucial means to improve EdTech, enabling online studies and distance learning,” Dr. Sununu stated. He noted that the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) boasts the highest student enrolment in the country, underscoring the increasing acceptance and effectiveness of distance learning in improving access to education.

In addressing the challenges faced by the education sector, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Sununu pointed out the commissioning of a digital resource centre. This center will be integrated with the 37 smart schools nationwide, facilitating the use of technology to address the teacher crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.

Dr. Sununu also highlighted the unprecedented prioritization of education in the national budget, with the education sector receiving the second-highest allocation, following defence. He mentioned that a significant portion of the defence budget is also directed towards enhancing educational security.

To bolster the safety of educational institutions, technology has been deployed to monitor and address threats to schools. “We have developed a rapid response center under the care of the National Defense Corps. All schools must connect to this center to filter information, track genuine threats, and escalate issues to relevant authorities to prevent attacks. In case of any incidents, there will be a swift response,” Dr. Sununu elaborated.

The Minister concluded by expressing the government’s commitment to developing strict guidelines for those pursuing university education via distance learning, ensuring quality and consistency in educational standards.