Experts in the education sector have stressed the need for government and other stakeholders to devote resources or energy to teachers and learners to encourage the adoption of digital tools to improve learning outcomes.
This was one of the major takeouts at the just concluded October edition of Edtech Mondays, organized by the Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT.
The edition, with the theme ‘Building Digital Tools that Empower Teachers and Learners’, was moderated by the Practice Lead, Education, CCHUB, Chinyelu Akpa, and featured edtech experts including Instructional Development Lead, Exampadi, Joy Bassey; Basic Science teacher, Aguda Junior Grammar School, Abiola Alabi; programme analyst, Olanike Aladeojobi; coach, Teach for Nigeria, Jemima Nnamdi-Iyeha and co-founder, GotoCourse, Dr. Success Ojo.
According to a UNESCO report published in 2016, it was estimated that the entire Sub-Saharan Africa would still need 15 million teachers to reverse the teacher shortage. This emphasises the role of teachers as critical resources for making impactful transformations in people’s lives.
Speaking during the session, the global award-winning teacher, Alabi, said there is a need for relevant stakeholders, most especially the government, to create an enabling environment as well as motivation for teachers to embrace technology. While calling for the review of the school curriculum in such a manner that would give room for better understanding and collaboration to make learning fun, Alabi noted that with the right incentive, the majority of teachers would be discouraged from leaving Nigeria’s shore for greener pasture.
In her remarks, Bassey identified three major factors that must be considered when designing instructional tools, including understanding learning objectives, provision of actionable content, and availability of appealing, engaging visuals that give context based on different learning demographics.
Bassey advised edtech organisations to pay adequate attention to theories or principles underlining the development of educational tools, as this would go a long way to assist them in producing relevant products that are capable of transforming learning outcomes for students.
On his part, Ojo stated that support from the government has become necessary if we are committed to promoting digital literacy among Nigerians. Ojo advised the government to invest in digital infrastructure and resources to improve the adoption of digital tools among learners and teachers, noting that digital tools hold the future for learning. She equally emphasized the need for stakeholders to create communities where teachers can share best practices to enable them to learn from one another.
Also speaking, Nnamdi-Iyeha noted that the organisation offers digital tools that empower teachers to plan and manage their time effectively while imparting knowledge to their students. Nnamdi-Iyeha urged the government to create collaborative learning spaces for teachers to aid or promote the large-scale adoption of digital tools for training and development.
The Programme Manager of Bridge Nigeria, Olanike Aladejobi, stated that the introduction of digital tools in learning has contributed a great deal not only to improving access to good content but also to improving Nigeria’s global competitiveness in education.
She urged the government to create a conducive environment and ensure improved welfare for teachers to thrive.