UNGA77: Buhari must keep his commitment on digital learning

By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos

An education analyst, Misan Thorpe, has urged President Muhammad Buhari to waste no time in delivering on the commitment made at the recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) on embracing digital learning in the Nigeria.

At the three-day Transforming Education Summit held on the sidelines of the 77th UNGA, President Buhari said the government will reach all learners wherever they are with inclusive and quality learning and skills development opportunities.

During the fourth thematic session titled “Digital Transformation of Education”, the President admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the adoption of digital learning options across Nigeria and that in the future , his administration would continue to promote this with the National Digital Learning Policy as a guide. The National Digital Learning Policy focuses on the long-term vision of inclusive digital transformation by increasing public provision of digital learning.

According to Thorpe, “Empirical studies have highlighted the importance and benefits of digital learning; therefore, President Buhari’s statement at UNGA 77 only trumpeted what concerned stakeholders had cried. “Unlike the traditional method of using blackboards and the teacher-centered classroom, digital, as the name suggests, means the use of digital boards; it is student-centered and encourages the use of computers, mobile devices and social media for learning.

“Social media has become an essential part of the online learning experience. Digital learning, among other things, has been shown to create a more dynamic environment by turning traditionally boring topics into interactive and fun activities, incorporating different learning styles for the benefit of all students, improving collaboration, better connecting students and preparing children for the future. Plus, what kid would rather carry around a stack of notebooks and textbooks than an iPad or lightweight device? Or who would want a heavy text instead of surfing an e-book?

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“Preparing students for a digital future by introducing them to technology from an early age and by adhering to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for quality education is what prompted Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu from Lagos State to inaugurate EKOEXCEL, an educational intervention to transform Lagos. public primary schools through the deployment of technology in 2009.

“The initiative, supported by global ed-tech platform NewGlobe as a technical partner, has proven to register tangible gains among teachers and students, leading to better learning outcomes for students. more professional students and teachers.”

Thorpe said Sanwo-Olu’s education initiative was the most valuable in the state in the age of COVID-19, because of its impact on students preparing for their final exam and that it also kept the other charges. He added that the impacts had been felt among students and teachers, with empirical studies confirming the gains.

“Interestingly, the Edo State government under Governor Obaseki had seen the benefits and adopted the same a year before Lagos did with EDOBEST, again with NewGlobe. This ed-tech platform supports visionary governments in building robust technology-enabled education systems as a technical partner.
“As of March 2022, EdoBEST was available to 280,000 students and had expanded to 380 schools with 2,602 gadgets (teachers’ tablets and smartphones) given to teachers, school leaders, principals, quality assurance officers and learning development at a recent graduation ceremony. More than 28,000 children in Edo now have access to EdoBEST pedagogy, which has improved learning experiences in classrooms across the state.

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