A look at EdTech in Nigeria

January 5, 2021

Uzodinma Joan Ugonwanyi takes a look at the current state of EdTech in Nigeria and provides a list of benefits and recommendations.

EdTech in Nigeria

Education is the bedrock of development in any country. Nigeria is a developing country with a well-established education sector. Its budgetary allocation to education in 2020 was 6.7% and is usually within a yearly percentage that is well below the estimated allocation for Education by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO (27%). [1]

Education Technology or EdTech is the combined use of computer hardware, software and educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. It creates, uses and manages technological processes and educational resources to help improve user academic performance. [2] There is an evolvement of new technological tools which can be integrated in schools for efficient and effective school management and this is a trend every country should adopt in order to achieve their educational goals. How well does Nigeria’s educational system maximize such trends? Let’s dive into understanding the state of EdTech in Nigeria and to some extent, the benefits of EdTech and recommendations.

EdTech in Nigeria

Educational technology is essential in school management so as to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. The world has evolved from more traditional methods of learning to digital patterns and every school administrator or educator is advised to adapt to such digital methodologies in order to be more productive. This will foster accuracy, accountability, development and the achievement of school goals.

Education in Nigeria is faced with a lot of problems, these include; poor funding, poor infrastructure, inadequate classrooms, a lack of teaching aids (projectors, computers, laboratories and libraries), a lack of quality teachers and a polluted learning environment, to mention but a few of the challenges facing the education system in Nigeria. [3]

The use of EdTech in Nigeria is completely discouraging, especially for government owned schools which hardly learn in a conducive environment, let alone being able to provide tech gadgets that could enhance teaching and learning. Some private schools are the leading pioneers of EdTech in Nigeria, especially for administrators that understand how paramount it is to yield a desirable output. These schools can be found in the biggest cities in Nigeria, such as Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.  On the other hand, individuals who in their own light are EdTech enthusiasts have established startups that aim to help learners to digitally acquire any desired field of study.  Using this acquired knowledge they can solve problems, learn unique tech skills at a young age and close gaps at school. This is because the world is a global village and technology is the future.

Here follows some Nigerian EdTech companies that have leveraged technology to make education seamless and accessible to millions of Nigerians:

uLesson: This EdTech company aims to provide adaptive and interactive tests that help students master concepts. uLesson recommends lessons, promotes practice sessions and works closely with students to achieve the kind of growth that transforms lives both in and outside the classroom.

Gradely: Gradely helps schools and parents deliver a personalized learning experience for K-12 students in Nigeria.

Prepclass: An EdTech company that focuses on connecting potential learners with skilled tutors. They provide tutors for basically anything a client may wish to learn.

Pass.ng: This is a web and mobile platform that helps candidates in Nigeria practice and prepare for national examinations by way of suggestive coaching and adaptive testing.

Passnownow: A social interaction website that supports learning by providing curriculum-based test materials to users for a small charge.

Benefits of EdTech

EdTech will benefit schools in Nigeria in the following ways:                                

  1. Digital literacy is a fundamental skill for students in the 21st century. Knowing how to use technology and the internet will be required in almost every job. By incorporating EdTech in the classroom, teachers can help students improve their digital literacy.
  2. Educators can effectively teach better and save time by recording files online and printing important articles and documents (timetable, academic curriculum, report cards etc.). The use of Google tools, such as Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets can help to achieve this.
  3. Computer programming is a demanding skill and should be incorporated in the classroom. There are variety of tools for teaching students how to code, even in elementary school.
  4. Educators can assist each and every student with in-classroom and other activities without actually being present and also enhance interaction with them using a well-designed learning management system like Google Classroom.
  5. EdTech will increase the productivity of any school with the use of automated applications. Human error can be prevented in accounting, registration, employment and other divisions within education.
  6. It fosters creativity and collaboration in the classroom. Both theoretical and practical subjects are easier to comprehend when taught with pictures, videos and animation. It’s widely recognized as best to teach topics with visual arts than with traditional textbooks. With EdTech tools such as those provided by Microsoft and Google, students can properly utilize the internet and go online to make presentations and complete tests and assignments.

” Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world…” Nelson Mandela 

Recommendations

1.  The government should consider education as something very important to invest in, with enough funds so that schools can be well equipped with gadgets that will enhance the implementation of EdTech. Nelson Mandela did say that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Therefore, the future of our citizens lies greatly in how well they are enlightened.

  1. Private and government schools should strive to include tech skills like programming and other relevant skills within their curriculum starting from a very young age. It is important to catch them when they are young and when they are curious about the world. Children will then be able to build their confidence in facing challenges that they can use to proffer solutions.
  2. Every school administrator should ensure the use of tools such as those provided by Google to help create a digital classroom. G-Suite for Education is a collection of tools that can help one increase opportunities for critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. These tools include; Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms, Google Slides, Google Drawings. G-Suite also include tools that can be used to save time and increase student engagement, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Sites and Google Groups. Every educator should endeavor to take the Google for Education Course so as to be acquainted with these tools.

The benefits of EdTech cannot be over emphasized, the system of education in Nigeria will be better-of if every school integrates tech within their core curriculum and the government has a great role to play in ensuring this comes to realization so that education can be made available to all regardless of one’s social status.  Teachers are responsible for preparing students for 21st century world. So it is said knowledge is power, therefore the need to embrace new methodologies has come to be.

Sources

[1] https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/issues-nigeria-must-address-quality-education/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology

[3] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09718923.2007.11978347