The Coordinator, Commonwealth Students Association (CSA), Precious Ebere has stressed the need to expose disadvantaged/indigent students to technological aids to enhance their education.
In a statement, she noted that students would also like to see an increase in online and digital learning opportunities, as technological tools continue to offer convenient and efficient access to education resources.
“Technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing education, particularly for disadvantaged students who may not have access to the same resources as their peers. Leaders can support initiatives that provide technological resources to schools and teachers and ensure that students have access to reliable internet connectivity.
“The future of education is continually changing and evolving. However, some of the things that many students want to see in the future of education include more personalised learning experiences, more opportunities to engage with real world issues and problems, and more opportunities to network and connect with other students and educators,” she said.
The renowned development expert and policy analyst underscored the need to bridge inequality gaps in African democracy, while advocating effective interventions that provide equal access to education and long-term learning outcomes for marginalised Nigerians by engaging critical stakeholders, encouraging youths.
On addressing challenges in the education sector, she said: “Following a real time survey, it was discovered that Nigeria suffer lots of issues, from reducing 10.2 million out-of-school children to a situation where unemployment rate jumped and has been disproportionately borne by young people with almost 30 per cent of them out of work. We came up with an innovation called DO Skill Up Climb Up, a 10-year human capacity development project. It was primarily targeted at addressing the challenges of skills deficit, poverty, unemployment rates, among others.
“However, the initiative is contributing to the achievements of improving access to quality education and opportunity for young people using skills and human capacity development.
“It is designed to impact
50,000 young people by 2030, with ongoing projects in Abuja, Rivers and Taraba. It has empowered over 500 women, 50 creatives, and provided employment for 20 creatives.”
Ebere, who said it was imperative to use technological aids to boost education, noted that she developed an application called ALLO, which she described as an inclusive-interactive audio and visual instructional device that captures Teaching at the Right Level (TARL) concept.
According to her, the application contains a learner-centered learning kit with pre-recorded and audio interactive lessons content and micro-learning resources for primary, junior and secondary school students with a focus on STEM subjects covering Mathematics, English and Science for primary school pupils; Mathematics, English, Basic Science, and Basic Technology for junior secondary school students; and Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for senior secondary school students, while also preparing them for examinations such as West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in line with the curriculum.
She said the learning kit is also accompanied by printed take-home activity books, worksheets and assessment cards, designed for parents, caregivers, or guardians to meet the home-learning needs of their wards and further help them to self-study at their pace and afford them a better learning edge.
“ALLO is designed to enable students with or without learning disorders, learn and process each content at their learning pace to foster deeper understanding of the content and ensure that some fun and effective learning are derived. It specifically serves students’ needs across different subject areas.
“Each content is designed to help students learn and specifically, retain knowledge. With the feedback and learning assessment component, each user is monitored and evaluated via audio calling systems by the handlers, keeping track of learning progress of every user.”
The development expert said it is important that students with disabilities receive support and accommodation they need to succeed in school, adding it is the responsibility of leaders and politicians. She urged government to look into issues such as inclusive education, individualised education plans (IEPs), and funding for special education programmes.
“Our leaders also have a role in shaping policies related to higher education, including funding for colleges and universities, student loan programmes, and access to affordable post-secondary education.
“Ensuring access to education is a critical issue for government to address, as it has a significant impact on the lives of individuals and the overall prosperity of the nation. Many people consider access to quality education to be a fundamental right and a key determinant of individual and societal success.”
She added that many different aspects of education can be addressed in the political process, including funding, curriculum, teacher training, school choice, and access to higher education. “How these issues are addressed can have significant consequences for the education system, and the prospects of individuals and society as a whole.
“Government needs to recognise the importance of education throughout an individual’s lifetime and support initiatives that provide opportunities for continuous education and training. This may involve supporting adult education programmes or providing incentives for employers to offer training and development opportunities to their employees,” she added.