Microsoft lessons will help transform teachers’ ICT training- Asomugha

MicrosoftThe federal government has prioritized transforming lab-based ICT training to meet contemporary pedagogy requirements by teachers, hinting on leveraging ‘windows’ provided my Microsoft technologies.

Mrs. Uwem Asomugha, director of ICT, Federal Ministry of Education told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek at Microsoft-BETT Middle East Forum held in Abu Dhabi, recently, that the Ministry which faces multifaceted challenges in digitalizing teacher and learning processes in the country, is trying to leverage the technological prowess of companies like the Microsoft which tranforms the process.

Asomugha said, “What we have been doing is lab-based ICT training for teachers, but the world has gone beyond that; every teacher should have a mobile device. That is one of the areas we are lacking”.

Speaking on the Forum, she told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, “BETT is quite significant; I have always known a lot of the things been emphasized are important to improving our education system. For instance, Microsoft software have helped us a lot in driving transformation, but this Forum has further strengthened the need for us to engage deeper with the company with reference to Microsoft Academy (MA) is something we are going to push forward. Whether we like it or not, our children have to compete globally. We have to ditch the idea of raising just local champions”.

What the Ministry Does Currently Using Technology To Boost Education, she said, “We are doing quite a lot, even at the tertiary level. For instance, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is a software/technology driven institution. It is doing quite a lot in accordance to its nomenclature “Open”. It is delivering education through technology. We have the National Teachers Institute (NTI), which is also a distance learning institution that leverages technology to deliver on its mandate”.She added that, although the institutions are doing very well in technological adoption, there are still some challenges.

“For instance the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN), the challenge has been payment of subscription. We have the infrastructure on ground, at least 27 universities are connected but the subscription issue remains there.

“The Federal budget for Education limits us, because through that we can’t pay for the NgREN subscription. We have to be brunt about it. Almost every school has V-Sat connection, but size the bandwidth subscription paid by the Federal is limiting their capacity. Connectivity is a major issue for us, coupled with power.

“At the Secondary school level, the Federal Government controls just a fraction of the schools. that is the 104 Unity Schools, while the States have the rest and individuals that control the private schools too. Although, we are making significant improvements, still are number of issues such as building the teachers’ capacity, provision of devices. What we have been doing is lab-based ICT training for teachers, but the world has gone beyond that; every teacher should have a mobile device. That is one of the areas we are lacking.

“Some States like Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, gave out devices to students, yes, even the federal Government gave devices to all 227 schools across States, but it is not enough.



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