How COVID-19 can help Nigeria rethink education policy ― AACS

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense pressure to almost all segments of life in Nigeria as it has in other countries of the world.

The health, education, business, social and religious sectors have been hit by the pandemic, but a recent report has revealed that the global health crisis has presented Nigeria an opportunity to rethink the policies of one of its critical sectors, education.

The report titled ‘The Virtuous Cycle: Opportunities to Advance Education in Nigeria’ by AACS International Consulting, says notwithstanding the many debilitating challenges, of which poor access is chief, the country could latch onto the new trend of virtual learning to make education available to more Nigerians.

According to the consulting firm, headed by Dr Ayo Abina, taking advantage of this opportunity would bring benefits which would eventually go beyond the bounds of education to provide more employment opportunities and help professionals acquire more skills.

The report says in part, “Implementing supported online learning could help increase access to education for millions of Nigerian youths, create new employment opportunities for skilled graduates, and lead to upskilling of professionals.

“If managed properly, online learning could lead to a virtuous cycle where improved quality and access to education creates apprenticeship and upskilling opportunities and leads to economic empowerment in Nigeria.”

AACS warns, however, that care must be taken to fix underlying challenges of the sector to avoid a situation where already existing challenges would lead to more. “The challenges facing Nigeria’s education system are well known, and while online education may yield some benefits, without addressing underlying gaps, it may further exacerbate the divide between privileged and underprivileged students.”

Of the challenges, poor funding is prominent. UNICEF recommends that developing countries like Nigeria should allocate not less than 15 per cent of its annual budget to education, but Nigeria has consistently failed to do this. The closest it came in the past five years was in 2015 when 12.3 per cent was allocated. But, sadly, it has been on a steady decline since then.

According to data from BudgIT’s report on ‘2020 Budget Analysis and Opportunities’, only 9.2 per cent was allocated to education in 2016; 7.3 per cent in 2017; 7.1 per cent in 2018; 7.1 per cent in 2019 and 6.5 per cent in pre-COVID-19 2020 budget.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Obiano confirms first death in Anambra

AACS stresses that “Innovative approaches to supported online learning could help increase access to education for millions of Nigerian youth, create new employment opportunities for skilled graduates, and lead to upskilling of professionals. According to the late Harvard University professor Clayton Christensen, innovation and disruption have better chances of success and achieving a high impact if they emerge at the periphery without posing a direct threat to the status quo”, it revealed.

Nailing down its recommendations, the report says: “to succeed in transforming education in Nigeria, disruptive ideas will have to start small, iterate, and expand strategically.”

It then asks government and stakeholders in the education sector to “form partnerships involving government, existing schools and private employers; deploy a mix of tech and non-tech innovations with locally developed adjustments to overcome any difficulties; experiment with different options in localized pilots – one size does not fit all – with continuous evaluation and adjustment before scaling and look for opportunities to provide direct pathways from education and skills attainment to employment opportunities.”

These recommendations suffice because, the report says, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the ways humans live their lives and is digitising the global economy. And for Nigeria, of which most of its 200 million population are young, to be relevant in the emerging global digital economy, not just students but teachers must have digital literacy skills. And, of course, the digital literacy skills required for success in the digital economy are the same skills that allow teachers to move online and manage their virtual classes. Hence, children must learn these skills to survive in the economy of the future, and it is critical that educators and policymakers find ways to make this happen.

 

 

YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

Pantami Used Armed Officers To Evict Our Staff, Abike Dabiri Alleges
The chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has alleged that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami used armed security men to eject NIDCOM from the offices which they occupied in the NCC building located at Mbora District… Read full story

Naira Set To Rally As CBN, ABCON Finalise BDCs’ Resumption Of Forex Sale
The naira is facing its greatest risk from the COVID-19 pandemic as currency speculators continue to make spurious demand for dollar with the hope of making good returns from the rising gaps between… Read full story

MONDAY LINE: Buhari’s Fifth May 29
MUHAMMADU Buhari’s first coming was from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985. It was a period of famine and pestilence; of queues for coins and corn and of lean liberty. His second coming will be five years old on Friday. Can he sit back and use his tongue to count his teeth? What has changed between his past… Read full story

China Tells US To Stop Wasting Time In Coronavirus Battle
The US should stop wasting time in its fight against the coronavirus and work with China to combat it, rather than spreading lies and attacking the country, the Chinese Government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Sunday. The Sino-US ties have nosedived since the outbreak of the new coronavirus… Read full story

The Continued Harassment Of Essential Workers
NOT a few Nigerians were miffed by the reports of arbitrary arrests and continued harassment of essential workers by the police immediately after the recent extension by the Federal Government of the partial lockdown and curfew imposed across the country to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Initially,many thought that the police operatives were at it again, acting outside their briefs for pecuniary gain… Read full story

Subsidy Removal: Those Who Can’t Fix Refineries Should Give Way ― NLC
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that the Federal Government should not talk about; or contemplate fuel price increase; even as it stated that subsidy is a cover-up for inefficiency and corrupt in the system. The NLC gave this position, as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association… Read full story

The Looming Fiscal Crisis And The Wisdom Of Awolowo
In terms of financial wizardry and sheer genius in economic statecraft, the only master I bow to is the legendary sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I believe he was an extraordinary statesman and an economic genius to boot. Former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon once observed: “If you know of a man greater… Read full story

COVID-19: Curfew Now 8pm To 5am In Oyo
The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, on Sunday, relaxed the existing curfew imposed on the state in respect of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic to between 8 pm and 5 am. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the decision was reached at the… Read full story

Adeboye Speaks On How Coronavirus Will End, Urges Nigerians Not To Panic
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye on Sunday said only a big miracle would make the deadly coronavirus pandemic leave the world completely. Pastor Adeboye stated this on Sunday during a live broadcast to his members on Dove… Read full story

Southeast Governors Meet In Enugu, Explain Delay In Implementation Of Zonal Security Outfit
GOVERNORS of the Southeast geo-political zone on Sunday explained why they are foot-dragging on the commencement of their zonal security outfit, saying that the Inspector-General of Police is not keeping with the agreement they reached with him… Read full story

No Rift Between Makinde And I ― Oyo Deputy Governor
Contrary to speculation of a cold war between him and his boss, Oyo State Deputy Governor, Raufu Olaniyan, has said there is no rift whatsoever. Olaniyan described the relationship between him and Governor Seyi Makinde as “robust and cordial… Read full story

Buhari Tasks Farmers On Massive Food Production, Says ‘No Money For Food Importation’
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged Nigerian farmers on the need to embark on massive productive agricultural activities this farming season as Nigeria has no money for food importation. The president gave the challenge shortly after observing this year’s Eid prayer alongside members of… Read full story

You might also like
Comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More