Lagos Partners Microsoft, Trains 18,000 Teachers on Digital Literacy

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Funmi Ogundare

The Lagos State Government, in collaboration with Microsoft Office, under its ATB Techsoft Solutions is training 18,000 secondary school teachers on digital literacy.

The training tagged, ‘Work-from-Home, Remote Teaching and Learning’, which commenced on April 27, is aimed at mentoring, creating and sharing subject specific content with the teachers.

Other objectives include ensuring that they are able to access interactive classes from mobile phones and devices, diagnosing and understanding learning needs and challenges, assigning homework, give feedbacks and auto-grade quizzes/tests remotely as well as internal stakeholders engagement.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, who highlighted some of the benefits of the programme on the teachers and schools in the state, noted the huge mileage the training will have on the overall technology transformation of the school system

The Chairman, Lagos State Teaching Service Commission, (TESCOM), Mrs. Elizabeth Ariyo, in her remarks, highlighted the robust course content and its sustainability on the long-term as part of Microsoft Office Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“The programme will be easily accessible via mobile smartphones, web browsers and robust platform for up to one million students, teachers and officials.”

She commended the efforts of Microsoft Office through its representative, ATB Techsoft Solutions, in utilising the stay at home period to equip, train and engage teachers.

“This will enhance teachers’ performances in discharging their duties of imparting knowledge in the younger generations through the use of technology which is in line with the education and technology pillar in the THEMES Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration and vision for teaching and learning in 21st Century Lagos,” Ariyo stressed.

In her remarks on the merits of the digital literacy training programme, the Permanent Secretary, TESCOM, Mrs. Toyin Awoseyi, expressed hope that the concept and initiative will enable teachers discover the right digital skills, new mindsets, and behavioural skills appropriate in the new learning ecosystem for better students’ performance and global acceptance in their academics.

She urged the teachers and other participants to take the programme seriously by utilising the opportunities to the fullest while assuring them that the state government will not relent in its committment to improve the standard of teaching and learning outcomes.

In another development, the Lagos State Ministry of Education has expressed concern about plans by some private schools in the state to resume academic activities for the third term of the 2019/2020 academic session through online teaching with effect from April 27.

The commissioner for education in a statement said: “As we are already aware, the state is presently on lockdown imposed by the federal government over the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry regards the resumption by schools as a strategy for ensuring that students continue to learn while the school calendar continues as planned.

She said most private schools are charging for the online service; often at a discount on existing tuition fees, while some schools are charging full fees.
She stated that parents are concerned about the cost of running the programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to cost of data and devices, as well as the cost of fuelling generators to ensure steady power supply.

The statement read in parts: “Parents also have to supervise online teachings to guard against the exposure of children to pornography, in addition to online harassment and bullying.

“The ministry calls for continuous dialogue between school administrators and parents. We are aware that most parents are not working and earning money at the moment. We are also aware that schools continue to incur costs as teachers and other members of the staff have to be paid for providing online teaching.

“Furthermore, the schools, in some cases, will have to purchase devices for teachers and provide them with data to prepare for the daily teaching activities.”

Adefisayo stressed the need for schools to consult extensively with parents and find a win-win solution that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.

“The ministry wishes to state categorically that all schools in Lagos State remain closed and have not yet been opened for the third term. The state continues to offer free teachings on various media, especially radio and television.

“It will continue to improve on the educational offering of its distance learning programmes. We are pleased that students and pupils across private and public schools are taking advantage of this free service.

“Plans are also underway to ensure that our children in public schools are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted.”