For Prince Osuagwu, High-tech editor And Julieta Umeh
The COVID-19 coronavirus has changed almost everything in the world. It has disrupted the economy, devastated the health system, destroyed hospitality businesses, disrupted social interaction, and created a new normal in the education sector.
In the pre-COVID era, cell phones and other technology devices were not allowed in schools, but today, schools use cell phones and other technology devices. That is, as much disruption as the pandemic has brought the status quo.
However, some technology experts in the education sector say it is more of a blessing than a curse. They believe that the years it would have taken Nigeria to standardize its education system to compete favorably with that of the developed world are shortened, as the transition from analog to digital learning is now a necessity, and is no longer a choice.
They see a post-COVID era in which foreign students can enroll in Nigerian schools, graduate, and proudly display their Nigerian degree certificates because they meet all international requirements.
Meanwhile, they don’t see all this happening with illusions. Predictions may not come true if there are no changes in attitude and proactive measures are taken.
For example, General Manager EduTech, Mr. Olufemi Shonubi says the first step in taking advantage of the disruptions COVID-19 has caused in the education sector is for the federal government to quickly adopt a decentralized learning process for all schools in Nigeria.
He believes that the negative effects of the coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic has required the search for a suitable school system to strengthen learning in the country
Shonubi’s EduTech is an establishment focused on transforming education with practical, technology-based learning solutions on campus and in educational organizations.
Shonubi argued that although this model was still desirable in the country due to the gap between demand and access to quality education, the COVID-19 outbreak has made it more imperative and any country that delays in adopting it will catch up. in the future and pay the price with low-skilled and half-graduates.
He said: “In recent years, the widening gap between demand for and access to education required the provision of e-learning solutions. However, considering the current situation caused by the new Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), we are discovering that e-learning solutions are needed now more than ever. ”
Why VigiLearn 3.0 Checks the Box
He said that in an attempt to lead the way to what he is preaching, his company has successfully launched a new e-learning platform, VigiLearn 3.0, which will allow people to earn
Valuable knowledge through short courses and full degrees from accredited Nigerian universities.
According to him, “The launch of VigiLearn 3.0, EduTech is perfectly prepared to provide access to a quality education for each and every one. Students, whether at the undergraduate, graduate, or even professional level, will experience unmatched ease as they have a unique opportunity to add value to themselves during this period of isolation and beyond.
“VigiLearn 3.0 is the latest installment in a series of learning management platforms introduced by EduTech, and boasts of an enhanced virtual classroom experience, enhanced user management capabilities, big data analytics, and built-in social media features that are They combine to provide a significantly improved user experience for platform administrators, tutors, and students, ”he added.
The VigiLearn platform currently houses e-learning content for nine-degree programs at Ahmadu Bello University and Obafemi Awolowo University, which has given people the opportunity to earn college and graduate degrees without putting their lives on hold. All degree programs are said to enjoy accreditation from the National Commission for Universities (NUC).
Simplifying digital learning
Another technology expert and CEO, Venture Garden Group, VGG, Mr. Bunmi Akinyemiju, echoed Shonubi’s views.
According to him, “digital learning is definitely not new, but before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a choice, and today it has become a necessity. The truth is that the world is changing, more sectors and jobs today are digitally enabled, and the growth of many industries is underpinned by technology.
“So in a way, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a problem that was not previously at the forefront of our priorities, the need to re-examine and modernize not just our curriculum across the life cycle of the Each child’s education but also the tools they should take advantage of to deliver this curriculum.
Akinyemiju, whose company provides innovative, data-driven, end-to-end technology, also flaunted some technology solutions that he said would help streamline digital education if Nigeria is ready to take the bull by the horn.
“We have so much content that you can learn on very accessible tools like YouTube for informal learning; And we’ve had MOOC platforms like Udemy, eDX and Coursera for more formal certified short courses at your own pace.
Akinyemiju said that while digital tools can provide resilience, sustainability, access, affordability and flexibility to the Nigerian education system, it also depends on the premise that the infrastructure necessary to support digital learning is readily available.
He said: “To marry and maintain this critical new learning channel, educators and students must have access to computers, tablets, or smartphones.
“However, the poverty rate in Nigeria is a limiting factor for digital learning. For example, a higher percentage of Nigerians have not yet gone online and a large percentage do not even have access to a personal computer, PC. According to the Global 2020 Digital Summary Report, only 20 percent of Nigerians have access to smartphones and 40 percent have access to the Internet. Even in that, they are found mainly in urban communities.
Way to go
He stated that Nigeria must invest generously in the necessary structures that will allow e-learning to prosper. For him, there must be a large investment in the expansion of broadband connectivity.
The more Nigerians have access to connectivity, the more they will engage on the Internet to create content, and the more comfortable they will be with consuming digital learning content.
There was also a strong case for investment in educational institutions to modernize teaching practices to boost digital learning. This is to have a more combined learning system where students who physically attend school also have digital channels integrated into their daily activities; where they engage digitally with significant parts of the course content, digital communication, and interactions between educators and students; Homework, homework, and ongoing assessments.
Again, experts say Nigeria needs to consider taking all-digital programs. Distance learning programs, at university levels that still require students to travel miles to attend sessions, should be eliminated and replaced with access to the best schools, regardless of the student’s location in Nigeria.
There is a belief that if the government activates policies and governance to enable digital learning, boost competition, and engender the sustainability of the education system, Nigeria could renew the economy with revenue from the education sector.