The President of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Sodiya, has said effective e-Learning adoption will lead to improved quality of education.
According to him, learning is basically the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or tutelage. Electronic learning (e-Learning) however, describes the use of electronic devices to access learning contents as facilitated by the use of ICT. These tools and gadgets provide access to the delivery of learning contents to participants within and beyond the borders of classroom setting. The devices that are used for this purpose include personal computers, servers, CD ROMs, television, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3 players and mobile phones.
Communication technology enables the use of Internet, e-mail, discussion forums, collaborative software, classroom management software, team learning systems, intranet, extranet, Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), audio and videotape, satellite and interactive television lectures, satellite-delivered learning, virtual educational networks, satellite downlinks, computerized diagnostic assessment, competency certification and electronic portfolios.
Speaking on the benefits of e-Learning, Sodiya said: “It is commonly believed that if knowledge is expensive, then ignorance is a rather costlier phenomenon. Learning is generally perceived to facilitate the improvement of an individual’s endeavour. However, the incorporation of electronic gadgets into existing learning systems has proven to further enhance this process as it cuts across different facets of knowledge acquisition. He listed the benefits to include:
Extended reach / mass education; Convenience; Increased learning rate; Ease of supervision and management; Flexibility in learning, among others.
Speaking about the challenges of e-learning in Nigeria, Sodiya said: “So far, the educational sector of the nation has been considered of little worth. It’s not been paid so much attention. The evolution of learning is been nagged at by appropriate quarters and this has been a major drawback even to the progress of the nation. The problems of learning in Nigeria has not been paid adequate attention not to talk of E-learning in Nigeria. Nonetheless, these concepts share similar problems.”
In the area of funding, Sodiya said: “As the backbone of development and progress of any successful endeavour is facilitated by its funding rate, e-learning is no exception. Publicly-funded learning centres have suffered a lot from inadequate funding as this has led to deprecated facilities and inadequate technical personnel. However, this situation in turn takes its toll on the students and stakeholders. Eventually, the products of these intellectual foundries are devoid of requisite innovative ideas for the advancement of the nation. What goes around truly comes around.”
According to him, “Democracy is the system of government currently operated in Nigeria which is largely to favour the interest of the masses. However, to see the full implementation of this philosophy, there is need to incorporate e-learning into the society. The need to prioritize education, research and development cannot be over emphasized. The government has to realize the educational sector as the nation’s guarantee for a better and brighter tomorrow. One of the goals of the government should be to ensure literacy amongst its citizens as this has tremendous benefits to individual lives. The adoption of e-learning would subliminally facilitate this agenda and would in one way or the other ensure the literacy of citizens to sufficient degrees which will eventually be to the progress of the nation at large.”