The Federal Ministry of Education has highlighted low bandwidth for internet access, inadequate ICT infrastructure, epileptic power supply, insufficient pool of IT professionals, low ICT-literacy among teachers and educational administrators as the bane of e-learning adoption in Nigerian schools.
The ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala who disclosed this in a paper he delivered at this year’s IT Assembly organised by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) in Abuja, posited that these challenges have made it difficult to embrace the current educational pedagogy which emphasizes student centred instruction with the teacher as the facilitator rather than teacher as the source of knowledge.
But in the face of these challenges, the ministry said it has devoted time and energy toward the development and deployment of ICT through the formulation of the National Policy on ICT to drive education in the country. By doing so, the ministry is introducing e-learning in all Nigerian schools to increase the range of instructional options and opportunities for anywhere, anytime, any pace and any path learning processes. This will be added to the development of virtual libraries and portals that are already in advance stage for schools and other educational institutions in the country.
Nwaobiala added that an annual ICT week has been established to promote ingenuity and engender interest in IT as a career choice among Nigerian youth.
Other stakeholders in the educational sector have suggested infrastructure sharing among schools to facilitate learning in this era of e-learning. Prof. A.C. Ogbonna, Dean, School of Computing & Engineering Sciences at Babcock University, Ogun State believes that the only way the education sector will be able to solve connectivity challenges without waiting for government is by putting resources together and collaborating.
“The problem we have is that too many organisations want to do it alone when they can achieve so much more if they learn to work together,” Ogbonna said.