• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Why govt should invest in digital infrastructure

Experts urge learners, educators to strengthen digital community

Experts in the education sector have tasked the federal and state governments to commit resources into digital infrastructure to drive the adoption of blended learning by educational institutions.

Blended learning or hybrid learning is an approach to education that combines traditional in-class instructor-led teaching with e-learning content to create a more flexible learning experience.

This approach, the experts say, holds the potential to address some of the critical issues in Nigeria’s education system, including a reduction in costs of expanding and maintaining infrastructure, a reduction in national literacy, as well as improvement in individualised learning by creating spaces for teachers to dedicate more time to small groups.

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They spoke recently at Edtech Mondays Fireside Chat by the Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Centre for Innovative Teaching & Learning in ICT.

The initiative was themed “Monitoring and evaluation of blended learning models,” moderated by Chinyelu Akpa, the practice lead, Education CCHUB, an Edtech expert.

Speaking during the panel session, Nduka Akujobi, director of Academics, NewGlobe, observed that Nigeria’s education landscape was growing fast in adopting and implementing blended learning models since the advent of COVID-19.

Akujobi noted that the company was at the forefront of collaborating with state governments by leveraging technology to transform learning and improve literacy, which would have a consequential impact on the economy. He cited examples of Lagos, Bayelsa, Edo, and Kwara states, where such models have been implemented, resulting in positive outcomes.

He said the ultimate goal of deploying blended learning was to ensure that learning deprivation is considerably reduced in line with global benchmarks.

Senbanjo Olufemi, principal, Alpha Choice Innovative Academy, also speaking, noted that adopting blended learning models became necessary as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown as well as the quest for innovation within a collaborative learning environment.

While admitting the challenges faced in co-opting parents and pupils for blended learning, Olufemi explained that the future of learning lies in deploying technology through a blended approach.

He charged educational institutions to be intentional about implementing a blended learning approach by ensuring there is an enabling environment, good internet access, and the necessary digital infrastructure and tools.

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In his remarks, Julius Ilori, the founder, Learners Corner Tech Hub, emphasised the need for the government to invest in technology and the provision of digital infrastructure, stated that making such a bold move would go a long way to scaling accessibility in learning, especially for disadvantaged children.

He stressed the need for educational stakeholders and policymakers to consider bringing culture or language into the learning space to aid or drive the adoption of a blended learning approach for pupils.