Monthly Archives: March 2014

Many Recommendations Passed on to the Government for Improvement of Education System in Nigeria

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In order to enable Nigeria comply with global standards, education system in the country must be fixed, says Foluso Phillips, the Chairman of the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Mr Foluso Phillips chaired the summit that aims to revamp, rebuild and re-enforce the education sector to boost the future prospects of the country.

He said that the economy of Nigeria is not looking healthy and that is the main reason for lots of hue and cries about unemployment.

Mr Phillips pointed out, “Over the last 20 -30 years Nigeria’s level of industrialisation has gone down, which makes the reduction in creative skills,”

Speaking to the breakfast programme of Channels Television ‘Sunrise Daily’, Mr. Phillips persisted with his views on need for a change in planning to prompt huge demand of skill and labour to decrease the unemployment rate in Nigeria.

He called on the federal government to provide attention on the Nigeria’s education system and look into the curriculum and teachers training programmes.

At the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit, a number of recommendations were made. Ifechukwu Nnatuanya, Co-Founder of Every Nigerian Child Project, has shown confidence that recommendations would surely be implemented by the federal government.

In conversation on Channels Television, Mr. Nnatuanya said, “If anyone thinks it’s going to be business as usual, they’re going to be wrong.”

There were several recommendations and plenty of initiatives that are in progress. He said that calling the general quality of Nigerian graduates as low is a comprehensive statement. According to him, measuring and maintaining these statistics is tough and the available records are nothing more than estimates.

In an attempt to prove that there are exceptions when one talks about the quality of Nigerian schools graduates, Nnatuanya mentioned about the public school students who have demonstrated great intellectual capacity in comparison to the private school students.

However, there are doubts that when the recommendations of the summit be given to the Federal Executive Council, they may set up review committees, which may cause delay in their implementation.

A lot of issues have been brought to the knowledge of public through discussions at the summit. What Nigerian people need is to follow up on the Government’s activities in regard to the implementation of the issues.

The Citizen-led assessment programme is something that Nnatuanya’s group has extensively been working on. The system is designed to ensure involvement of more Nigerians into improvement of educational standard of their own country.

The project was at first introduced in Pakistan, where it worked well. After the success in Pakistan, it was subsequently exported to many other countries, including African nations.

There is a need to improve the Nigerian curriculum, which can only be done if the universities are given 70 percent autonomy to develop their own courses. By doing so, some universities would put focus on the Science and Technology, while some would be able to come up with great social science curriculum.

Undoubtedly, it would be lot easier for Nigerian schools to teach the courses which they have designed themselves. Change can be tough, but by looking at the enthusiasm and honest efforts of the Nigerians, it is certain that Nigeria would one day achieve their objective.

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Nigeria Grants $758m for Improvement of Women’s Education

Nigerian-woman education

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Today education has become mandatory for everyone irrespective of their gender or social standing. Education for women has gained much prominence and many people are working towards its development. However, we need to take more steps in order to improve women’s education in the urban areas as well as in the rural regions. Governments of different nations always ensure that the necessary support is provided to the deprived groups. Hence grants and subsidies are offered by the government for the fundamental education of women. The main objective is to provide required education to women and enable them to compete with men for the best job opportunities in various professional fields.

Governments of different countries award special grants to women as the number of female students is usually less than male students, especially in the developing nations and the third world countries. Such programmes help to increase the enrolment of girls in schools and empower them to create new social, financial and educational resources for their communities. Recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria had granted N113.75 ($758 million) for the development of girl-child education programmes in the country.

Dr. Precious Gbeneol, the Senior Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has said “The MDG has initiated programmes to help Nigeria achieve Universal Basic Education with focus on the issues of quality, capacity, access and relevance,” while launching the distribution of 3 million exercise books for free to the students in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.

Gbeneol further said, “The MDGs made available over N113.75 billion of debt relief to the Federal Ministry of Education from 2006 to date, to implement various programmes. The programmes include the girl child education, National Programme on Almajiri, support to the National Teachers Institute and support to UBEC for the Federal Teachers Scheme (FTS).’’

She stated that over 15,000 high impact projects were executed and N26.1 billion was effectively invested in almost 261 local government areas. These projects are concentrated in the area of water and sanitation, health, agriculture, income generation and education sectors. Around 12,342 water and sanitation projects have been successfully executed across the nation. Moreover, 5,206 health facilities have also been constructed, equipped and renovated. Gbeneol also affirmed that almost 68,430 health workers have also been trained so that they can help in providing efficient health services. In addition, financial support has also been offered to 1,704 beneficiaries for the establishment of agriculture enterprises. Apart from these, the launch of the distribution of free exercise books was a step forward towards achieving one of the most important and mandatory objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the development of universal primary education.

Dr Precious Gbeneol said, “I am convinced that the free exercise books, when distributed, will further ease the burden of the benefiting poor families. It will also stimulate the interest of the pupils themselves to embrace education and quit street life.”

She affirmed that several efforts were being made by the MDGs office to make sure that both male and female students would successfully complete a full primary education course by 2015. These efforts by the Federal Government, as well as the UBEC, would help in increasing the standard of education in Nigeria. The MDGs are committed to shattering the cycle of poverty and developing the lives of the deprived and unfortunate.

These types of grants for women’s education will not only increase the literacy rate but it will also boost the number of women in the work field. As a result, this will eventually lead to improving the nation’s economy.

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Will Mobile Learning make Big Differences in Africa’s Education System?

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The problem with the current education system today in the majority of African nations is resisting tech-based education. Cost and electricity however are the two key reasons that have been hampering the spirit of digital revolution in Africa. However, experts after realising the growing interests of studying virtually are now making positive attempts to implement digital learning devices in all those deprived classrooms.

The education we obtain is not exclusive, feels Kapenda

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One of the students, Kapenda Ndimuwanakupa, a 19-year old student who just completed his secondary education said, “We all got taught how to use computer and information networks, like Google for example, to search information that you can use for class work and doing projects.” However, he showed unwillingness towards accepting their computer education standards. Kapenda said that his school was not exceptional in offering computer education.

Although Namibia stands as one of African’s richest nations, the academic experience of Kapenda there was not something to be appreciated. One of the digital trainers, Iyke Chukwu, who works with Federal Capital Territory Secondary Education Board, said that it’s been three years that the authorities are still carrying on experiments in more than sixty secondary schools in Abuja. Moreover, what’s depressing now is that a good number of teachers here are not feeling excited to implement technology.

Cost and Electricity always matter

Chukwu said that the cost factor mattered a lot behind the resistance of digital education. Although teachers are willing to have their own laptops, some of them are just not able to do so owing to meagre salaries. Moreover, another factor that has been already mentioned earlier is electricity which is indeed stopping technology from making classrooms more modernised and updated.

So, the question is, ‘What’s next?’

Researchers have found that students in Kenya have come up with modem-like devices through which they will be accessing mobile internet services. Well, Microsoft is working on a project that would initiate the Internet service through unused television frequencies in Kenya, and this would also eliminate the dependability on electricity.

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Iyke Chukwu in regard to use of cell phones in classrooms said, “For now, use of phones in school is taboo, so once a teacher sees a student with a phone, the next thing is they are seizing the phone and they can destroy the phones.” He added in a depressing tone that cell phones can be an amazing tool for online learners and this has not yet been recognised by them.

Predictions say that smartphones will rule in future. In fact, the smartphone market in Africa has been highly predicted to double in the next 4 years. Where it’s true that smartphones are getting cheaper, the chances of adopting mobile learning are sure to go higher with time. With this initiative, onlinedistance learning in Abuja will emerge to be a grand success and students there would not be required to relocate for higher studies.

As far as Abuja’s education system is concerned, distance learning can only strengthen it thereby bringing new objectives and big expectations among students. Therefore, enrolling under the Abuja university distance learning will always be a better and wiser initiative for students who would therefore get the liberty to study as per their convenience and that too by taking help of digitally enriched tools.

Article Source: bit.ly/1nGUs6v

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