Acknowledging the vital role Information Communication and Technology (ICT) play in economic development, the Lagos State government has charged stakeholders, private sector operators and well-meaning Nigerians to invest massively in ICT development in the country.
The State added that the ICT sector remains a fast-growing area with limitless possibilities for national and international development, stressing that ICT presently is effectively showing new dimensions to old institutional arrangements.
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State, Olufemi Odubiyi, made the call during the recent unveiling of a 16-seater ICT learning centre at Lagos State Model Primary School, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, which was donated by SAP, West Africa.
He, however stated that the ICT learning centre would serve the needs of no fewer than 3,000 students in the Ikeja environs, noting that the move was in tandem with the Lagos state government’s determination to provide quality education for public and private schools in the State by ensuring that each pupil acquires the necessary computer knowledge in order to compete with their peers globally.
He said as part of efforts to encourage e-learning, the State government established a digital village at Alausa, Ikeja as well as an e-learning centre in CMS, Lagos Island, for interested residents, especially youths.
He pointed out that the major goal of the village and the e-learning centre is to raise a new generation of youths who are sufficiently versatile with appropriate IT skills to be positioned for personal development and active participation in nation building.
He said with an estimated shortage of some 2 million IT professionals in the world, there is a need to encourage more people to take interest in ICT, through training and skills development, to deal with the deficit.
He called on all stakeholders in the education and ICT sector, private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to emulate and replicate the wonderful gesture of SAP Nigeria in identifying areas where ICT is needed and support government’s drive to provide the needed infrastructure and facilities which aid e-learning in all tiers of the education sector.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Ganiyu Spehin, represented by the Director, Special Duties Department, SUBEB, Mrs. Tola Obadofin, said the e-learning centre was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that it would go a long way in bridging the gap between public and private schools in the country.
“The State government cannot do everything all by itself, stakeholders must join hands to ensure that we build a literate society for the benefit of all,” he said. He enjoined the school to come up with ideas to put the e-learning centre into effective use in order to make the children become more useful to the society and the world at large.
The Managing Director, SAP West Africa, Kudzai Danha, who was also represented by the Marketing Manager, SAP West Africa, Mrs. Juliet Omorodion, said the e-learning centre would help to improve the learning experience of children, adding that the donation is only the beginning of many moves to be embarked upon by the technology company.
“This move was to support the State government in its quest to include science and technology in school curriculum. To make sure this e-learning centre is fully optimised, we have also donated a brand new 3.5 KVA generator,” she said.